>> 20 May 2009

Commenting on the announcement today by the National Trust for Scotland that there is to be no further reduction in visitor services or access at Haddo House, near Methlick, SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford said:

"I am pleased that the National Trust for Scotland are not proposing any further cutbacks or reductions in visitor access at Haddo House.

“It is still extremely disappointing that the Trust felt the need to do this during the year of the Homecoming, but with the support of local councillors, we now have access to a tour in the morning where that wasn’t the case under the Trust’s proposals.

"I visited Haddo House last summer and it is a truly magnificent building with a wonderful history. We need to maintain the visitor attractions we have in this area and I hope that the visitor numbers during this season will lead to a review of this decision by the Trust and we can return to full access for next year."

Mid-Formartine SNP councillor Allan Hendry, who is a member of the committee which approved the support for Haddo House, commented:

“This will come as a relief to the staff there and the local community who undoubtedly get a spin off to the local economy from the visitors attracted to Haddo House.

“I am pleased that no further cuts are being proposed. The National Trust for Scotland must now up its game and market Haddo more effectively.”

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