Publised date : 07 Feb 2017

Perthshire North MSP, John Swinney, joined colleagues in the Scottish Government by participating in a Cabinet visit to Pitlochry, followed by a public discussion event in the Festival Theatre on Monday 6 February.

Following previous successful visits all across Scotland, members of the public were invited to attend a public discussion event where they would have the opportunity to question the First Minister, and the Cabinet, and give their views on a host of local and national issues.

The theme for the day focussed on the rural economy, but a number of issues were raised during the discussion including rural bus services; ambulance services; Donald Trump’s Presidency of the United States of America and the potential loss of funding to Universities, post-Brexit.

Commenting on the Cabinet visit, Mr Swinney said:

“I am delighted that Pitlochry has, once again, hosted a meeting of the Scottish Cabinet.

“The Scottish Government has, since 2008, made it very clear that we want to reach out to communities throughout Scotland. We have visited places across the country from Cupar, Alloa and Dingwall to Pitlochry, Aberdeen and Dumfries. It is important that we make ourselves approachable and open to the public. The First Minister has made it clear that, as a Government, we will listen to people’s concerns and use the feedback we get to shape our policy decisions to build a more inclusive and prosperous country.

“I was particularly pleased that so many people filled the Pitlochry Festival Theatre for the public discussion and that so many local people were able to raise issues that are important to them, directly to Cabinet Ministers.”

The Cabinet visited Pitlochry on the day that the new SSE Visitor’s Centre at Pitlochry Dam was opened by the First Minister and Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE, and Mr Swinney.

The £4Million visitor centre will help tell the story of how the dam was originally built by the “Tunnel Tigers” who moved hundreds of kilos of rock to form tunnels. Joined by some of the men who worked on the tunnels, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP unveiled a plaque at the centre to mark its official opening. It is anticipated that the new centre will attract more than 80,000 people in its first year.

Adding to this, Mr Swinney said:

“Perthshire is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country – something my Cabinet colleagues were keen to point out during the public discussion. It is one of the area’s biggest attractions for tourists and I am excited to see the new visitor’s centre officially opened.

“This new facility will allow tens of thousands of people – and hopefully more, in future years – to not only enjoy the fantastic scenery but also to learn about the history of the dam and the extraordinary work of the “Tunnel Tigers”, who laid the foundations decades ago. It was a privilege to meet some of those men and speak to them at the opening of the new centre.”


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