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Shop at popular historic attraction wins award up against international opposition

The Jacobite Memorial Cairn at Culloden Battlefield.
The Jacobite Memorial Cairn at Culloden Battlefield.

The Guardians of Culloden Battlefield have fought off stiff competition from international curators to win a top prize.

The team at the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) visitor centre in Inverness are celebrating after becoming retailer of the year at the 2020 Museums and Heritage Awards, which took place online on Tuesday.

The attraction’s retail outlet was up for the “shop of the year” award, for those with more than £500,000 in annual turnover.

It went up against tough international competitors including MoMA’s flagship store in New York City and the shop at Bletchley Park.

The judges praised Culloden, saying they were very impressed by the way the shop connected with its site, its local community and its visitors, successfully helping to sustain the local economy.

Martin Hughes from the National Trust for Scotland’s regional team played a key role in the redesign of the store and its product range.

He said: “The team can be rightly proud of all that we’ve achieved here at Culloden. To receive this award is an incredible accolade and a real boost for us all, as we work in these strange times.”

The lockdown led to a significant downturn of almost £30 million in income resulting in potential job losses exceeding 400 positions across the NTS.

The Inverness attraction reopened its doors to visitors in August.

The Scottish Government provided the charity with a bailout of £3.8m to help safeguard 197 jobs across the organisation; however, a further 230 redundancies are still expected to be made by the charity.

It follows an emergency public appeal by the NTS to help save it from collapse which has amassed £2.5m.

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