Terror accused ‘told online forum he wanted Sturgeon to die’

Sam Imrie has been charged with posting statements suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre.

'Terror plot' trial: Sam Imrie. PA Ready via PA Ready
'Terror plot' trial: Sam Imrie.

A man on trial for terrorism offences discussed livestreaming “an incident” and said he wanted the First Minister “to die” in an online pro-fascist forum, a court has heard.

Sam Imrie has been charged with posting statements on social media platform Telegram suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes, Fife.

The 24-year-old has also been accused of planning to stream live footage of “an incident”.

Giving evidence at the High Court on Tuesday, Detective Constable Jonathan Leitch, who works in counter-terrorism, discussed messages allegedly posted by the accused in a Telegram channel called “Fashwaveartists.”

ADVERT

In a series of posts in July 2019, Imrie allegedly wrote: “I just want them all dead. I just want my people to live free.

“I don’t give a f*** who I have to kill to make it happen. I will meet them at the door with closed fists, ready to fight.

“I’m tired of being nice, I want to atom bomb all of the Middle East and all of Africa. F*** all you n******.

“I want to stream it but I also don’t want to get caught. I think I will stream it though. We are going to kill the invaders.”

ADVERT

Imrie also hit out at the SNP over their immigration policies.

“The SNP Party wants millions of Muslims to come in so obviously I want Sturgeon to die,” he wrote.

The accused was warned by other users not to discuss the issue in the group.

He responded: “There is no going back. Any chance I actually get away with it?”

Other users appeared to try to dissuade the accused.

One said: “Throwing you life away doesn’t make you a martyr, especially when you throw it away on a whim.

“Targeting innocents at this stage will only harm the rest of us.”

ADVERT

Imrie replied: “No invader is innocent.

“F*** it, why wait? Hypothetically if I was going to livestream something cool, where should I do it?”

Among other charges, Imrie has been accused of being in possession of neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim material and extreme pornography, including indecent images of children and an image involving a human corpse.

Imrie is also charged with driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol in July 2019.

He denies all of the nine charges against him, three of which come under the Terrorism Act.

The trial, before Lord Mulholland, continues.


Transport minister claims ScotRail strikes during COP26 ‘not valid’

Graeme Dey has called for RMT members to vote again on whether to take action over the pay dispute.

fotomem via IStock
Strikes: Graeme Day calls for RMT members to vote again on strike action.

A vote for strike action by railway workers that is set to disrupt COP26 is “no longer valid”, Scotland’s transport minister has claimed.

Graeme Dey called for RMT members to vote again on whether to take action over the pay dispute, claiming there is now a “very fair offer” for ScotRail staff.

The trade union announced strike action by ScotRail workers from November 1 to 12 to coincide with the climate summit in Glasgow and members on the Serco-run Caledonian Sleeper service will also strike from October 31 to November 2 and from November 11 to 13.

It comes amid a dispute over pay and condition following a ballot in which 84% of more than 2000 members backed more strikes.

ADVERT

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Dey argued that “circumstances have changed” since members voted for strike action, and said: “The premise of what was said yesterday is fundamentally wrong.”

“That was about that took place before the offer was made many RMT members will have voted, believing there was no offer.”

However, RMT Scotland organiser Michael Hogg said it was a “lousy, rotten offer” of a 4.7% increase which was not worthy of consideration because it required “members to sell hard-earned terms and conditions in order to get a pay rise”.

He added that all ScotRail services could end up being cancelled during the COP26 conference as a result of the strikes.

ADVERT

The transport minister refused to reveal the details of the deal being offered by ScotRail, or whether it was a final offer, but said: “It was the best offer that can be made in the circumstances”.

He added: “Rail workers took part on a ballot on the basis that they had been left behind from their perspective because there had been no offer made.

“But that is not the case any more. An offer was made, has been made, it’s there and it’s a very fair offer and one that’s affordable for the railway.”

Asked whether the RMT members should have to vote again, Dey said: “I think that’s fundamentally the right thing to do.

“The circumstances have changed, that mandate is no longer valid and therefore I would encourage them to either accept on behalf of their members or go back to the members and put the offer to them.”

Dey defended ScotRail’s “extremely involved” engagement in discussions with unions but insisted it was not the Scottish Government’s role to resolve the dispute, despite being involved in the talks.

He said: “It’s not for the government to get back round the table.

ADVERT

“The trade unions and management were round the table over an extended period to arrive at the point they did with this offer being made and taken back to the memberships of three of the four unions.”

Following the interview, Mr Hogg told the programme: “What I say to Graeme Dey and to Transport Scotland is: let’s get round the table, let’s hold the serious, meaningful discussions we need in order to find a solution.

“I don’t see why members should be expected to actually sell hard-earned terms and conditions.”

ScotRail’s operations director David Simpson said: “We made a very positive offer to [the RMT] last weekend which – at that point – seemed to be acceptable.

“It offered a two-year deal, there was 4.7% worth of pay rise in there which, given the current industry financial position, is very significant.”

Describing the prospect of more strikes as “very frustrating”, Mr Simpson added: “What we need to do now is work together to build by custom.

“Following Covid, we are still only at 50% of previous customer levels.

“That leads to very significant financial challenges for the industry, and it’s against that backdrop that we were able to make the offer to the unions last week, which we hoped would resolve these issues, allow us to work together to deliver a great COP26, and then build the business back through the next few years.”


School cleaners and cooks set to join Glasgow strikes during COP26

A total of 1500 Glasgow City Council staff in the refuse, cleansing, school janitorial and catering sectors are set to strike.

Ben Birchall via PA Ready
Workers plan to strike in Glasgow during COP26 over a pay dispute.

School cleaners and cooks are set to join refuse workers on strike in Glasgow during COP26 over a pay dispute.

Cleansing workers and schools support staff who are members of the GMB union voted in favour of industrial action that could disrupt the climate summit starting next month.

A total of 1500 Glasgow City Council staff in the refuse, cleansing, school janitorial and catering sectors could strike because of the ongoing pay dispute, with 96.9% of returned ballots backing industrial action.

GMB members rejected a £850-a-year increase for staff earning up to £25,000 a year from local authority umbrella body Cosla, with the union – along with Unison and Unite – all calling for a £2000 pay rise.

ADVERT

Cosla said negotiations are ongoing.

GMB Glasgow organiser, Chris Mitchell, said: “Over the past 18 months throughout this awful pandemic, essential services across Scotland have been held together by an army of low paid workers.

“We were called key workers, even Covid heroes, but while politicians were happy to applaud us on Thursday nights, they’ve never put their hands in their pockets to pay us properly.

“The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow during COP26, and our politicians now have a choice – will they fairly reward the frontline workers who got the country through the pandemic, or will they risk embarrassing the city and the country on an international stage?

ADVERT

“The message that our members have sent with this ballot result is clear. We are taking a stand for what we deserve, and we believe the people will stand with us.”

The call for industrial action comes after Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken was criticised for saying the city needs a “spruce up” before the COP26 conference.

Her comments received a backlash from politicians and members of the public who claimed she was “out of touch” with the city.

A Cosla spokesman said: “We appreciate everything that Local Government workers have been doing, and continue to do, to support people and communities during the pandemic and as we begin to recover.

“We continue with ongoing, constructive negotiations.”

Rail workers will also go on strike during COP26, the RMT union confirmed on Thursday, over a separate dispute over pay and conditions.

ScotRail staff will strike from Monday November 1 until Friday November 12.

ADVERT

Staff on the Caledonian Sleeper will hold two 24-hour strikes: one from 11.59am on Sunday October 31 and one on Thursday November 11, also from 11.59am.


Review into child’s care following death of ‘smiley’ baby girl

The Glasgow Child Protection Committee has published a Significant Case Review into the child's death.

deng qiufeng via IStock
Death: Both parents have since been charged in connection with their daughter’s death.

A severely disabled baby girl found dead at her home was not properly cared for by her parents, according to a significant case review which also found opportunities to intervene were missed.

Child D was found “lifeless” by her father in the Glasgow family home at 2am – before she reached the age of one. She was taken to hospital but staff were unable to resuscitate her.

In the weeks leading up to her death, medical staff had raised concerns that she was not “her normal smiley self” and was losing weight.

Her complex needs included having to have her bladder emptied four times every day – but the care review found this was only being done “intermittently” by her parents. It concluded, “the child ultimately dies due to a poor care regime by the parents.”

ADVERT

Both parents have since been charged in connection with their daughter’s death. They and Child D cannot be identified for legal reasons. 

The Glasgow Child Protection Committee has published a Significant Case Review into the death, which happened in July 2017. 

It said “early intervention opportunities” were missed to help Child D and there was “a lack of coordination of services resulting in insufficient communication and information sharing.”

Problems in the system leading up to her death included three different health visitors being involved with the family. And there was no single health lead professional being made responsible for coordinating her health care. 

ADVERT

It also found a GP had failed to flag up relevant details about the family history while filling out information for other health professionals and raised concerns about a pre-birth care assessment.

And it highlighted seven priorities that needed to be looked at in the wake of the child’s death.

The family had been known to social workers for a number of years. The baby’s father had drug addiction problems while the mother suffered from “long standing” mental health problems.

But they were judged to have made significant progress before the birth of Child D. 

The review found that even before the birth of Child D there were concerns that she may not survive childbirth, and it was highlighted that if she survived she would have multiple health needs.

Despite this, a pre-birth meeting did not have any representation from acute health specialities involved in Child D’s care.

Child D underwent surgery after being born with spina bifida, which is when the baby’s spine and spinal cord do not develop properly in the womb.

ADVERT

She spent seven weeks in the neonatal high dependency unit before being taken home. Her health condition meant she needed to attend medical appointments regularly. 

The review said there was “limited discussion around the child’s complex medical needs and what is expected of the parents with regards to the child’s daily health and care needs.”

This included the need for her to be catheterised four times every day to empty her bladder to stay healthy. 

From August to December 2016 the child was seen by 13 health professionals. Parents promised health workers they were catheterising the baby four times daily, but no members of staff saw them do it at home.

At one point her dad told an addictions worker he was not “comfortable” catheterising his daughter.

The case review reported that in the hours beforehand Child D’s father had texted her mum begging her to come home as the baby was being sick and he didn’t know what to do. 

Police were concerned about the state of the family home when they attended after Child D’s death. A stockpile of catheters was found in the home – suggesting it was not happening enough. 

The case review said: “There are indications that the parents are not catheterising Child D four times daily as is necessary to ensure her health and well-being. They would appear to have been intermittently undertaking this procedure and the child ultimately dies due to a poor care regime by the parents.”

The case review identified seven priority findings when looking at the circumstances of her death including lack of communication and information sharing between agencies.

The review called for changes across the city including setting up a “process for identifying early in pregnancy vulnerable women and unborn babies who may require additional support.” 

It also said it is necessary to have a “consistent approach” in the completion of GP SCI gateway information across the city – in light of a GP not filling in a form comprehensively about Child D’s family. Additionally, the review pointed out there is a need to ensure that all relevant agencies are represented at child protection meetings.

Findings included three different health visitors working with the family during Child D’s short life. It resulted in a lack of knowledge of the family and child’s needs. There was a shortage of health visitors at that time nationally but more have now been hired. 

Another outcome showed a GP clicked ‘not known’ when asked were they aware of any vulnerability or child protection in relation to this pregnancy? while filling in information for maternity services. That happened despite the family being registered with the practice since 2013.

A further discovery revealed specialist health services staff didn’t attend a post birth planning meeting for Child D. The review said that had led to “the needs of the child not being fully understood and multi-agency assessment and decision making compromised.“

The review also highlighted no single health lead professional was assigned to the child.

The case review said: “If there is no health lead professional, there is no holistic understanding of a child’s Personal Data needs and there is no coordination across health specialities to ensure robust information sharing and care planning.”

It pointed out there was no consideration around “respite to support the parents to provide long term care to ensure a sustained high level of care for Child D.”

It also found there was “no multi-agency child’s plan in place and therefore no regular reviews of the plan involving key professionals.” 

It showed concerns around Child D’s weight, mum’s mental health and the parents’ separation were not addressed along with other issues. 

The review also raised concerns about NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board having multiple information systems.

Child D’s information was recorded in different records. 

It said: “Where health professionals do not have access to all relevant information this impacts on the quality of assessment, decision making and robust child’s planning.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership said: “This is a tragic case and our sympathies are with everyone affected.

“We welcome the findings of the Child Protection Committee’s report and have implemented an action plan to address the points raised – particularly in relation to information sharing between health and social care services.”

Story by local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley


Arrest after Tory MP ‘stabbed several times’ at constituency surgery

Sir David Amess, who represents Southend West in Essex, was reportedly attacked on Friday.

UK Parliament via Website
The 69-year-old was attacked on Friday at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

A man has been arrested after Conservative MP Sir David Amess was reportedly stabbed several times at a surgery in his Southend West constituency.

The 69-year-old was attacked on Friday at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

Essex Police said: A man’s been arrested following an incident in #LeighonSea.

“We were called to reports of a stabbing in Eastwood Rd North shortly after 12.05pm.

ADVERT

“A man was arrested shortly after & we’re not looking for anyone else.”

A spokesman for his office in Westminster said: “The incident has happened.

“I don’t know what the incident is. We are still waiting.”


Do not make care homes into scapegoat in Covid inquiry, sector warns

Independent Care Homes Scotland has said it is vital the sector is given a 'meaningful and prominent voice'.

Shapecharge via IStock
Inquiry: Group calls for 'meaningful and prominent voice' for care homes.

Care homes must not be “lined up as a scapegoat” in the forthcoming national inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic, a group representing the sector has warned.

Independent Care Homes Scotland (ICHS), representing 13 operators and 10,000 staff across 155 homes, have said it is vital the sector is given a “meaningful and prominent voice” in the inquiry.

They say the decision by Government to “empty hospital patients into care homes without any testing” early in the pandemic must be addressed in the probe.

ICHS founding member and Renaissance Care chairman, Robert Kilgour, said: “Given that the Scottish care sector was one of those hardest hit by the pandemic, it would counterproductive if the voices of patients, staff and management were restricted to only a few participants.

ADVERT

“It is of utmost importance that the care sector is not lined up as a scapegoat for things that went wrong during the Covid outbreak in Scotland.

“It is imperative that the inquiry takes substantial evidence from those on the front line.

“Only then will we be able to ensure it fulfils its remit of establishing any lessons to be learned from what has happened, for the sake of future and current residents, as well as those who have made their careers in the sector.”

ICHS has said it is committed to playing a “full and constructive part” in what is expected to be the largest inquiry of its kind ever seen in Scotland, and have called on other independent care home operators to join them.

ADVERT

Mr Kilgour said residents, their families and care home workers had “paid a terrible price” during the pandemic, “with enormous numbers of deaths amidst the most sustained, high-pressure environment our sector has ever seen”.

He added: “It is absolutely imperative that the direct experiences of those in the care sector are given a meaningful and prominent voice within the inquiry, and given that 75% of elderly care homes in Scotland are operated by independent providers, it is vital that we are at the core of these conversations.

“The areas we must see addressed include Government decisions to empty hospital patients into care homes without any testing in the early days of the pandemic, which had devastating consequences, and the failure to quickly heed industry calls for mandatory, weekly testing of staff.”

The group has made a formal submission outlining key areas the it believes the inquiry should cover “based on direct experience on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Among the issues outlined in the submission for the terms of reference in the inquiry are “the decision to discharge untested hospital patients into care homes, the lack of PPE, testing and equipment, the frequently varying advice, involvement of NHS and employment laws and procedures”.

Announcing the establishment of an inquiry by the end of this year, the Scottish Government said it was “fundamental” that stakeholder views were heard.

The group said it has retained one of Scotland‘s leading advocates, Duncan Hamilton QC, as well as David McKie of legal firm Levy & MacRae to assist with preparation of the submission and evidence for the inquiry.


Health board welcomes 650 new nurses and midwives to its ranks

They will be working across NHSGGC hospitals, as well as in communities in all six health and social care partnership areas.

NHSGGC via Email
Medics: NHSGGC has welcomed more than 650 newly qualified nurses and midwives as part of this year’s intake.

By Jenness Mitchell & Louise Scott

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has welcomed more than 650 newly qualified nurses and midwives to its ranks as part of this year’s intake.

The nurses will be working across all of the health board’s hospitals, as well as in communities in all six health and social care partnership areas.

Dr Margaret McGuire, director of nursing at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), said: “Given the extra demands of this year, many of our newly qualified nurses have already been working with us as healthcare assistants and I would like to thank them for that.

ADVERT

“This new cohort of nurses and midwives marks a significant and unique recruitment of graduates, and just like last year, reflects one of the most important periods in our history.

“They bring a wealth of additional experience gained during a very testing time in the NHS.

“Their skills and experience will be invaluable in supporting us in our response to Covid-19 as we move into a second winter.

“They have joined us at a time like no other and their experience will stand them in great stead in their careers as they move into their chosen specialisms within healthcare.”

ADVERT

The vast majority of the new workers have come from universities across the west of Scotland and have studied adult nursing, children’s nursing, as well as mental health and learning disability nursing.

Smaller numbers have come from further afield in Scotland and from England.

The newly qualified graduates will strengthen the existing 13,082 nurses and midwives to deliver high quality person-centred care to more than one million people across Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

Dr Margaret McGuire added: “I want to thank all our nurses and midwives for their professionalism, dedication and kindness to the people they care for and would remind them to look after themselves and their colleagues as well.”

‘It’s definitely the job for me’

NHSGGC via Email
Nurse: Manpreet Kaur Singh is now working at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Manpreet Kaur Singh is one of the new cohorts at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. This is her second venture into nursing.

The Glasgow Caledonian University grad, from Cumbernauld in North Lanarkshire, said: “I left school at 16 and had always wanted to be a nurse, but probably lacked the confidence at that time.

“After doing a computer course I did start nursing training for a while, but dropped out after a negative experience.

ADVERT

“But the urge to be a nurse never left me and for years my family and friends were on at me to go back to it. I did an entry course then studied at Caledonian and never looked back.

“My first day in the ‘blue uniform’ was a bit daunting. I realised then I was no longer a student but a fully qualified nurse.” 

The 32-year-old has since settled into her new role and is enjoying her time on ward 65, a surgical ward.

She added: “It’s an amazing team. I spent my second last placement there and was so happy when I found out that’s where I will be based.

“There’s no such thing as a stupid question and everyone is so supportive. The Royal is such a great hospital; our patients get great care.”

‘I am looking forward to seeing how I grow as a nurse.’

Manpreet Kaur Singh

One part of the job Ms Singh knows she will find tough is when her patient doesn’t make it.

Ms Singh added: “As a student you get more time to spend with patients and get to know them well.

“The most important thing is to be supportive for the family and remain professional, but I know it’s okay to go and have a wee cry in a cupboard too. We are only human after all.

“I am so excited about being a nurse and seeing what my career holds.

“It’s definitely the job for me and I can’t be prouder. I can’t believe I am actually here; it’s so exciting. I am looking forward to seeing how I grow as a nurse.”

‘Expect the unexpected’

STV News
Nurse: Ricky Dunn is now working at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Ricky Dunn, now a staff nurse at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, told STV News that his university classes switched to online as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

During his practical placements, he said it felt like “everyone was there together” as medics across the country battled the deadly virus.

Mr Dunn said: “You’re in the same boat as everyone. You know, it’s a completely massive change in the middle of a pandemic.

“Everyone’s got different ways of working, so you’re having to do that and on top of trying to learn how to be a nurse.

“And every time you went in, you know, you felt like yes you were learning new skills but it was kind of spurring you on because it was such a different time that no one had experienced before, so you feel like everyone was there together, so that kind of helped me along the way.”

Mr Dunn said the pandemic has taught him to “expect the unexpected”.

He added: “I think that’s nursing anyway, not every day’s the same, but definitely it’s a massive thing.

“And I think that it’ll go down in history – a lot of lessons learned. But yeah, I think it’s really shaped me the way I am and I’ve definitely took a lot away from it.”

New algorithm could ‘detect Covid quicker’ – in just three minutes

The programme will process images of chest x-rays of patients displaying shortness of breath.

4X-image via IStock
Covid: New algorithm 'could detect virus in three minutes'.

A new algorithm is hoped to speed up Covid diagnosis in hospitals using artificial intelligence – in just three minutes.

The high tech programme, created by Bering Limited in collaboration with researchers from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will process images of chest x-rays of patients displaying shortness of breath.

It aims to give an accurate result in under three minutes, which is significantly faster than the average two-hour wait for a PCR test to be completed.

The BraveCX-CovIx algorithm, has been validated in more than 3000 chest x-rays across four NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) sites and has been found to be able to differentiate between normal, abnormal, non-Covid-19 pneumonia and Covid-19 pneumonia.

ADVERT

The work was conducted by iCAIRD, Scotland’s Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics and uses Canon Medical Research Europe’s Safe Haven Artificial Intelligence Platform (SHAIP) as well as datasets from the Glasgow Safe Haven.

A research paper, published on Thursday, further validates the AI technology after finding it performs on par with four certified radiologists.

Prof David Lowe, joint clinical lead of the West of Scotland Innovation Hub and an Emergency Medicine Consultant at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital said: “This is yet another welcome development demonstrating the potential for AI to support clinicians ensuring patients are getting the highest quality and most relevant treatment.

“Through testing we have been able to see that this algorithm can identify Covid-19 on chest x-rays that are routinely taken during initial clinical assessment.

ADVERT

“This will not just help with the treatment of patients but speeds up the process of isolating infected patients to ensure the spread is reduced.”

Dr Mark Hall, radiology consultant at NHSGGC added: “We continue to see the positive impact artificial intelligence has on radiology, from reducing waiting times to improving accuracy and reducing pressures on staff.

“This research paper further highlights the importance of using developments in AI to enhance diagnosis and treatment.

“The level of accuracy allows consultants to make even more informed decisions as we have a greater pool of data to use.

“There can often be a misconception that AI input will mean the public get less time with doctors, but this is not the case.

“Technology like this will help us speed up processing high numbers of similar cases, while retaining accuracy, allowing for more time with patients and more complex cases.”

As part of the iCAIRD programme, NHSGGC is continuing to trial and evaluate the technology to establish whether it could be used to predict and establish other illnesses such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.


Billy Connolly says Parkinson’s has left him no longer able to write

The 78-year-old comedian was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 and retired from live performances.

SNS Group via SNS Group
Sir Billy gave an update about living with Parkinson’s.

Sir Billy Connolly has said losing the ability to write “breaks my heart” because he loved writing letters.

The 78-year-old comedian, also known as The Big Yin, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 and retired from live performances five years later.

But he has continued to record programmes and make TV appearances.

The star appeared on the Graham Norton Show via video-link from Florida, where he lives, to talk about his new autobiography, Windswept & Interesting.

ADVERT

He told Norton: “I have lost the ability to write, and it breaks my heart as I used to love writing letters to people.

“My writing went down the Swanee and is totally illegible, so I had to find a way to record everything, but then the recorder didn’t understand my accent so it kept collapsing and my family would have to sort it – it was a club effort!”

Explaining the title of the book, he said: “The rules of being ‘windswept and interesting’ are doing as you please and not taking lessons from anyone.”

Sir Billy gave an update about living with Parkinson’s and said he has “good days and bad days”.

ADVERT

“It’s creeping up on me and it never let’s go. I walk like a drunk man and have to have help. So, life is different, but it is good,” he said.

Other guests on the show include Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker, Olympic diver Tom Daley, actress Dame Eileen Atkins, and comedian and writer Sir Lenny Henry, with a musical performance from Coldplay.


Scotland celebrates launch of world’s first ever UNESCO trail

The trail aims to bring together some of the country's most iconic, diverse and culturally significant sites.

UNESCO trail via Visit Scotland
UNESCO Trail: Launched in Dundee.

The world’s first ever United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) trail has been launched in Scotland.

The trail connects Scotland’s 13 place-based UNESCO designations, including world heritage sites, biospheres, global geoparks and creative cities to form a dedicated digital trail.

It aims to take visitors on a “cultural journey” across the country as they experience everything from history to science, music, design and literature to nature and cityscapes. 

The project is designed to make Scotland a responsible tourism destination.

ADVERT

It is aimed to encourage visitors to stay longer, visit all year round, make sustainable travel choices, explore more widely and at the right time of the year, and in turn, contribute to the sustainable quality of life of those communities surrounding the designated sites.

The digital trail, which is available on Visit Scotland, showcases all of the UNESCO designations on offer across country, including the Forth Bridge, the 5000 year old Ring of Brodgar in Orkney and the Antonine Wall in East Dunbartonshire.

Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh represent music, design and literature as the three creative cities.

The trail has been developed through a unique partnership between VisitScotland, the Scottish Government, the UK National Commission for UNESCO, Historic Environment Scotland, NatureScot, the National Trust for Scotland and Scotland’s 13 UNESCO designations.

ADVERT

The project has received £360,000 funding from the Scottish Government to support the strategy for the sustainable recovery of Scottish tourism. 

Tourism minister Ivan McKee officially launched the trail in Dundee on Friday.

He said: Scotland has always been a pioneering nation and I’m pleased to see we’re leading the way with the world’s first UNESCO digital trail.

“Supported by £360,000 of Scottish Government funding, the UNESCO Trail will help to attract and welcome both domestic and international visitors again, by showcasing Scotland’s unique cultural heritage and many UNESCO sites.

“As we approach COP26, I’m pleased to see that the UNESCO trail has sustainability at its core and will help visitors make responsible and sustainable choices by highlighting green accredited businesses and promoting environmentally friendly travel.”

A specially commissioned design by illustrator and printmaker, Jagoda Sadowska was unveiled at the launch.

The graduate of the city’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art said: “It’s been a great pleasure to be involved in the project. Dundee is a wonderful city and hopefully, with the opening of Scotland’s UNESCO Trail, it will get even more recognition and appreciation. 

ADVERT

“As someone who recently graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, I feel extremely fortunate to be able to pursue Illustration as a full-time job.

“Dundee is filled with warm and motivated people that create an encouraging environment for upcoming artists.

“There’s a strong sense of community that is both friendly and welcoming and had a fundamental influence on my practice.

“I hope the Trail can work as a gateway to allow more people to experience the City of Dundee and beyond.” 

VisitScotland director of industry and destination development, Rob Dickson, said: “There is no other journey like Scotland’s UNESCO Trail and we want to inspire visitors to take a once-in-a-lifetime experience across the country, delving into its history and heritage, experiencing the wonder of its natural assets and the magic that inspires art, music and literature.

“The innovative trail not only showcases the breadth of culturally astounding UNESCO designations we have across Scotland but also the exceptional visitor experiences this trail creates.”

The full list of designations included in Scotland’s UNESCO Trail are:

  • Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere
  • Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere
  • Dundee UNESCO City of Design
  • Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature
  • Glasgow UNESCO City of Music
  • Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark
  • North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark
  • The Forth Bridge UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Antonine Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Old and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • St Kilda World Heritage Site. 

You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?