Abbey group welcomes American interest

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THE GROUP trying to raise the profile of Arbroath’s most significant historical landmark is confident of increased tourism interest from the United States.

It was reported in the Herald last week that Craig Ferguson, who hosts the Late Late Show on American TV network CBS, had recorded an interview with First Minister Alex Salmond at Arbroath Abbey, as part of the programme’s Scottish week.

And with the interview due to be broadcast next week across the whole of the US, the Arbroath Abbey Action Group (AAAG) believes it will give the Abbey a huge showcase to potential American tourists.

Chairman of the action group Harry Ritchie was thrilled to hear about the recording.

He told the Herald: “I was delighted to see that Craig Ferguson of the CBS Late Late Show recorded part of his opening forthcoming programme at Arbroath Abbey.

“This would seem to show that our Abbey and the Declaration are becoming better known across ‘the pond’.

“This must be another strong point in our favour for the further promotion of our Abbey to the American tourist market.

“It must surely strengthen our approach to Visit Scotland, to get them to promote more heavily, Arbroath, its Abbey and the Declaration of Arbroath.

“The AAAG has already had a very worthwhile and constructive meeting with Ruth Parsons, of Historic Scotland, the custodians of our abbey and we are now writing to Malcolm Roughead, of Visit Scotland, requesting a meeting with him, to put our points across and hopefully get as encouraging a response as we did from Historic Scotland.”

Meanwhile national newspaper The Scotland on Sunday is running a competition in conjunction with Historic Scotland to find the best photograph of an Historic Scotland building.

And the editor of the Arbroath Herald, Brian Stormont, who is also a member of the AAAG, wants readers to enter the contest.

He said: “This is a brilliant competition run by our sister paper The Scotland on Sunday with some terrific prizes up for grabs.

“How fantastic would it be for a picture of Arbroath Abbey taken by a local person to win this national contest. Brilliant recognition for them and some outstanding publicity for our lovely abbey.”

For more information on the competition visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/photocomp