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Caithness News Bulletins November 2003

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Dounreay Visitor Centre Web Site Dounreay News  

A  41 per cent increase in visitors to the Dounreay Exhibition has made the 2003 season one of the most popular for many years.

Almost  8,000  people  passed  through  the  doors of the Highlands' latest four-star visitor attraction since it opened in May.

Left To Right Helen Mackay, Visitor Centre Guide; Jim Kannard, LMU; Jayne
Henderson, Visitor Centre Guide; Tina Wrighton, Visitor Centre Manager

The  centre  tells the pioneering story of the UK's fast reactor experiment and  explains  the  site's  new  role at the forefront of Britain's nuclear decommissioning  programme.  Admission  to  the  centre is free and trained guides  provide  visitors with answers to any questions they may have about the site.

UKAEA's  Tina  Wrighton,  who manages the visitor centre, said:  "Like many local  attractions  the centre has benefited from the wonderful weather the Highlands  has  experienced  this  year  and  the  fact  that  we  are  now established  as  a  four-star  visitor attraction has definitely helped our visitor numbers.

"This  year  we  have  attracted  many  coach  parties, school children and foreign  visitors  to the centre, with visitors of all ages coming to learn about  our  50-60-year  programme of work to decommission the Dounreay site and restore its environment. The visitor centre is an important part of our ongoing commitment to be open and honest about the work we do.

Casia  Zajac,  Highlands  of Scotland Tourist Board communications manager, said:  "It's  an  excellent achievement to increase visitor numbers by this level,  particularly in an area that many perceive as remote. HOST has been marketing  the north with campaigns such as Escape To The Edge, Walkingwild and  activity  round  the  annular solar eclipse which dovetail nicely with Dounreay's own marketing.  Well done to everyone involved"

Mr  Jim  Kannard  had the distinction of being the last person to visit the centre before it closed for the winter. Mr Kannard, part of the Liabilities Management  Unit  that  has  been  set  up by the Government to prepare the ground  for  the  proposed  Nuclear  Decommissioning  Authority, said: "The important  history  of  the  Dounreay  site  is  well  communicated  by the exhibition.   Dounreay  has a history and future that needs a good balanced view by all stakeholders."