Piper Ian Philp played ‘Scots Wha Hae’ beside the iconic statue of Robert Burns as the First Minister arrived at the Centre. He was then given a tour of the new facility where he met the staff behind the development and the day-to-day operation.
The First Minister was particularly impressed by the 3D digitised version of the Kilmarnock Edition which allows viewers to turn the pages of the book and listen to Billy Kay narrate a selection of poems.
Leader of East Ayrshire Council Douglas Reid accompanied the First Minister on the tour and was delighted to learn that staff had produced his family tree and sourced relevant background materials such as historical newspaper clippings to demonstrate how the facility can build a picture of ancestral history.
After the tour, the First Minister was invited to officially open the Centre and he commented:
“This impressive £5 million centre offers visitors from near and far the opportunity to trace their family tree and learn more about Scotland’s rich culture, history and heritage.
This fantastic new centre will provide a significant boost to local tourism and will help entice some of the 40 million strong Scots Diaspora back to Scotland to explore their heritage and roots further.”
He continued by saying that the idea of housing family, local history, archives and registration services under one roof was “an act of genius" and "one of the most impressive local resources I've ever seen - well worth the investment."
“The creation of the centre involved snatching triumph out of disaster".