It was with a sense of excited anticipation that Gina McAuslan opened the Finlaggan Information Centre on the second last day of the 2011 season. Half an hour later she was welcoming Jack Baldwin from Glasgow with the news that he was the Centre’s 5,000 th visitor of the year. She presented a surprised and delighted Mr Baldwin with a Finlaggan engraved whisky glass to mark the first time visitor numbers to the Centre had topped 5,000 in any one year.
Gina said, “Since we opened the extension to the building in 2009, numbers have risen year on year and when on Tuesday we closed at 4,997 we knew we were in sight of the 5,000 target. When Mr Baldwin’s party arrived I counted them in and he was number 3”.
The final figure when the Centre closed for the winter on Sunday 30 October was 5012. In addition the Finlaggan Trust welcomed 100 people between the launch of the Turner project and the talk by Thomas Ardill of Tate Britain and, at a conservative estimate from donations left, at least 600 people visited the island outside of the Centre opening times.