Group putting Bo’ness on the map

Representatives from Bo'net with the revamped leaflet promoting Bo'ness to tourists. From left: Wendy Turner, Stuart McAllister, Madelene Hunt and Lennox Ainslie.
Representatives from Bo'net with the revamped leaflet promoting Bo'ness to tourists. From left: Wendy Turner, Stuart McAllister, Madelene Hunt and Lennox Ainslie.

A new push to attract tourists to Bo’ness got underway this week, when Bo’net updated and republished its free map and guide to local attractions.

Falkirk Council part-funded the 5,000 colour copies, which are available from local libraries and other outlets in the district.

Bo’net – which represents dozens of groups in the town – has also received support from the charity the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

Bo’net chairwoman Madelene Hunt said: “We first produced the map and guide in 2013 and it was very popular with visitors and local people. It encouraged people to unlock the secrets of Bo’ness.

“We’ve now updated the publication with new information – for instance details about the Bo’ness Community Bus, plus information on new websites and phone numbers.

“I hope the refreshed leaflet attracts lots of new people to the wealth of visitor attractions in this area. There’s so much to see and do.”

The guide includes information on popular attractions such as the historic Hippodrome Cinema, the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and Museum of Scottish Railways, Kinneil Museum, Kinneil House and Estate and the neighbouring Nature Reserve.

There’s also promotional information on the Barony Theatre, Bo’ness Town Hall, Bo’ness Recreation Centre, Blackness Castle and Bo’ness Motor Museum.

The publication also highlights the wealth of shops in the town centre, and outdoor attractions such as the Bridgeness Slab Roman replica, the Memorial to Mining and John Muir Way.

The guide was developed by the Eden Consultancy Group in Falkirk in association with Bo’ness-based The PR Store.

The guide hits the streets just weeks after Falkirk Council published a report suggesting Kinneil Estate and Museum and the Bo’ness Town Hall could be transferred from its current operators, Falkirk Community Trust.

One suggestion is that the local community could take over the running of key assets.

The report also suggested Bo’ness Recreation Centre could be moved into Bo’ness Academy.

Madelene added: “It’s business as usual for these attractions in the short-term, but there’s real concern about the long-term operations.

“A huge amount of money has been pumped into facilities in Falkirk in recent years and I’d hope that the powers-that-be don’t forget the importance of what we have in Bo’ness.

“Our facilities need to properly managed and supported, with decent funding.”

Falkirk District has seen a rise in visitors in recent years. A recent report suggested that tourism generated an economic impact worth around £110 million per year, employing around 2000 people.

In 2015, Falkirk Council launched its five-year tourism plan with a bold vision to increase both visitor expenditure and overnight visitor accommodation by 20 per cent by 2020.

The local authority promotes Bo’ness and the wider attractions on the www.visitfalkirk.com website.