MEP Visits Prestonpans To Discuss Funding Avenues

23 August 2010

SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith and Councillor Paul McLennan will today (Monday) visit Prestonpans Tapestry in East Lothian to discuss possible EU funding avenues.

Prestonpans recently unveiled one of the world's longest tapestries, in East Lothian. The work charts Bonnie Prince Charlie's journey from South Uist to the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. The tapestry was commissioned by the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust. It is hoped the immense creation will form the centrepiece of a history centre that trustees are campaigning to create near the battle site.

Smith recently wrote to Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Regional Policy asking for his assistance and support in locating EU funds to support the trustees’ project to find this tapestry a permanent home in the area.

Smith said:

“I have visited Prestonpans before and was struck by the quality, the commitment and the comprehensiveness of the venture.  They have created something which richly deserves to enter Scotland's hall of treasures.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting some of the embroiderers and admiring their masterpiece which is back from its tour and discussing possible funding avenues with Gordon Prestongrange. I believe that it is vital that such a work of clear European cultural and historical import is afforded support, preferably from the EU level.

"Many of the heritage sites in East Lothian are in increasingly desperate need of renovation and the area, which has, until relatively recently, been highly reliant on heavy industry, is gradually undergoing substantial urban regeneration. A new or renovated visitor centre dedicated to the iconic battle and which could house the tapestry could be the focal point of an urban regeneration flagship project.”