Rest and Be Thank­ful pro­ject gets Sir Jackie’s back­ing

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

AM­BI­TIOUS plans to cre­ate a visi­tor at­trac­tion over­look­ing the old Mil­i­tary Road at the Rest and Be Thank­ful have re­ceived the back­ing of mo­tor rac­ing leg­end, Sir Jackie Stewart.

The Rest and Be Thank­ful Her­itage Pro­ject will con­sist of re­tail, cafe and arts spa­ces within a con­tem­po­rary build­ing which will also celebrate the road’s link to Scot­land’s rich mo­tor­ing history.

The pro­ject was de­signed by Dou­glas An­der­son, the man re­spon­si­ble for the re­turn of the Monte Carlo Clas­sic Rally to Scot­land, back in 2011.

It has also re­ceived sup­port from for­mer world cham­pion, Sir Jackie, who raced the fa­mous hill climb events which were staged by the Royal Scot­tish Au­to­mo­bile Club at the Glen Croe site.

Renowned for its 400 feet gra­di­ent and hair­pin bends, the mil­i­tary road be­low the cur­rent A83 at­tracted lead­ing in­ter­na­tional driv­ers in­clud­ing the late Jim Clark un­til its con­di­tion meant only se­lect events could be staged af­ter 1970.

Pro­ject di­rec­tors hope the sym­pa­thetic build­ing, set within the pic­turesque Ar­gyll hill­side, will breathe new life into the pop­u­lar stop­ping place and bring tourism cash and jobs to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Mr An­der­son said: ‘The Rest and Be Thank­ful has great sig­nif­i­cance in mo­tor sport terms be­cause of the fa­mous hill climb races. It was seen as the ul­ti­mate test for driv­ers in many ways be­cause of the steep­ness and con­di­tions and many greats like Jackie Stewart raced there.

‘The idea is to mark that con­nec­tion within a per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion space, but the pro­ject it­self is more. The build­ing will be a multi-use fa­cil­ity which could be used by the lo­cal com­mu­nity for film, busi­ness and cul­tural events and there will also be re­tail and a res­tau­rant area.’

The pro­posed build­ing, nestling within the con­tours of the moun­tain­side, has been de­signed by Kennedy Twad­dle Ar­chi­tec­tural De­sign to utilise the stun­ning vista at the sum­mit of the glen - al­ready a favourite stop­ping place.

Meet­ings with of­fi­cials from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park, VisitS­cot­land and Trans­port Scot­land have been pos­i­tive, with tourism chiefs aware the at­trac­tion will bring some­thing unique to the area.

Sir Jackie Stewart, who raced the 1400 yard course in a Ford in 1961, be­lieves Scot­land is miss­ing such a land­mark to com­mem­o­rate its proud place in global motorsport.

He said: ‘The top of the Rest and Be Thank­ful is a beau­ti­ful set­ting with breath­tak­ing scenery. It would be a tourist at­trac­tion to have such a fa­cil­ity as is be­ing pro­posed and it would pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to bol­ster Scot­land’s great mo­tor rac­ing her­itage and suc­cesses around the world which have been go­ing on for a very long time. In Scot­land, we don’t do enough of this.

‘It would also be a nice place for peo­ple to stop and have a meal while they driv­ing.

‘I am sure it would be ex­cel­lent for tourism as well as for the Scots.’

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