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Article published 27/01/2022

The new Great Tapestry of Scotland centre, where Scotland’s story begins, received the highest rating possible in our Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme following its first-ever QA Grading Visit. This is an exceptional achievement for a new visitor attraction.

Great Tapestry of Scotland

The news comes less than five months after the visitor attraction first opened its doors in Galashiels (the heartland of the Scottish Borders) and shortly after the centre’s stunning purpose-built building received a commendation from the Glasgow Institute of Architects.

The latest addition to Scotland’s world-class tourism portfolio was officially presented with five-star visitor attraction status by Paula Ward, VisitScotland’s Regional Leadership Director.

Congratulations to the team at The Great Tapestry of Scotland and Live Borders on this fantastic achievement. To receive this 5 Star Quality Assurance Award just a few months after opening is testament to the exceptional visitor experience on offer.

Quality Assurance is more than just stars on the door, it is about the entire visitor experience. Our stars represent world class excellence, helping businesses shine, enabling visitors to make informed choices and driving investment in quality.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is already one of Scotland’s must-see national visitor attractions and a fantastic example of how tourism really is a force for good, creating wealth and social benefits for businesses and people in the south of Scotland, and enhancing the wellbeing of everyone who visits.

Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director

I am absolutely delighted we were awarded 5 Stars from VisitScotland who have helped to create our wonderful new visitor centre. I am incredibly proud of all that we have achieved and continue to achieve, particularly amidst a global pandemic.

It is apt that our new purpose-built centre is firmly cemented as one of Scotland’s leading visitor attractions as we enter 2022 - Scotland's Year of Stories. Just three miles from Abbotsford, the home of the renowned novelist Sir Walter Scott, The Great Tapestry of Scotland is truly where Scotland’s story begins.

Sandy Maxwell-Forbes, Director

The brainchild of Alexander McCall Smith, The Great Tapestry of Scotland is one of the world’s largest community arts projects. It was hand-stitched by a team of 1,000 stitchers from across Scotland, using 160 linen panels and over 300 miles of wool (enough to lay the entire length of Scotland from the border with England to the tip of Shetland).

The panels were designed by artist Andrew Crummy, based on a narrative written by Scottish Borders-based award-winning writer and historian, Alistair Moffat.

In addition to the Tapestry itself, the visitor centre houses visiting exhibits, a cafe and workshops that allow participants to meet and learn from makers in one of the UK’s premier textile regions.

Great Tapestry of Scotland receives 5 Star Award

Architects Page\Park were recently presented with a commendation from the Glasgow Institute of Architects for their design of the new centre, which was purpose built by contractors Ogilvie Construction for Scottish Borders Council.

It is a critical town centre regeneration project which has received investment from the Scottish Government through its Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, the Borders Railway Blueprint programme and the Council. And there is evidence that the attraction is already supporting footfall to other businesses in Galashiels.

To help deliver a safe visitor experience, those planning on visiting The Great Tapestry of Scotland are advised to book ahead on their website where full opening times can be found along with details of COVID-19 measures in place. If spaces are still available on the day, tickets can also be purchased at the door.

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