Observant travellers in South Ayrshire will have noticed new “Welcome to Carrick, Ayrshire” road signs marking the entry points to Carrick. These have been installed by Carrick Community Councils’ Forum in partnership with South Ayrshire Council.
Peter Mason, Chair of the Forum, said, “We have been working to raise the profile of this part of Ayrshire for quite some time and this latest project was made possible by local funding and by partnership working with South Ayrshire Council. The Forum is pleased that its partnership with the Council has produced these signs which make a bold statement in welcoming visitors to our area. I would also like to thank the staff at Ailsa Horizons, the local development agency, who helped us to source funding and make this project happen. Without the support of Ailsa Horizons and the hard work of all of the forum members and local councillors, the forum would not be able to deliver such projects and benefits to the area”
Funding for the road signs project came from South Ayrshire Council’s Rural Panel and Carrick Futures Community Benefit Fund, which distributes funding from Scottish Power Renewables’ wind farms. Tourism Portfolio holder Cllr Bill Grant was delighted that this project has had such an impact already. Forum member Mhairi McKenna commented that many local people had commented already on a sense of pride in seeing these new signs marking the entrances to Carrick. The actual boundaries of the ancient Kingdom of Carrick changed at different times in history. In modern times, the western, eastern and southern boundaries are defined to coincide with the boundaries of the local authority. The northern boundaries have been marked on the A77 just to the south of its junction with the B7034 and on the A719 to the north of the disused railway line.
Stuart Lindsay of Ailsa Horizons commented, “It took us longer than expected to get these road signs installed and it is really good to see them in place.
“This project is the latest in a long line of small – and not so small – initiatives that the Forum has carried out to promote tourism. The biggest of these was the recently completed 2-year tourism development project which created a brand for Carrick, developed the carrickayrshire.co.uk website, and created new tourism products such as the Carrick Heritage Trail.
“It is difficult to measure the effect that the Forum’s work has had on visitor numbers. But it’s worth noting how Carrick’s profile on the internet has changed. A few years back if you searched for “Carrick” on Google you would have to trawl through 10 or more pages of references to the famous footballer and to Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland before you found any mention of Carrick, Ayrshire. Today, a search for Carrick on Google brings up a reference to our part of Scotland on the first page of search results.” Local Councillors commented that this signage is further recognition that Carrick is “now on the map” and visible to visitors as they arrive.
Working in liaison with tourism agencies and Ayrshire and Arran tourism leaders, the Forum has also created a portfolio of ‘people-based’ photographs for promotions online and in print.
Peter Mason added, “The new signs will help to raise Carrick’s profile even more and we will continue to work with tourism businesses across Carrick to develop the tourism product and further promote the area.”