CATS scheme paves way for world class Heritage Centre on Loch Tay
Plans for a £6m project to redevelop the Scottish Crannog Centre on the north shore of Loch Tay are one step closer to being realised, thanks to Forestry and Land Scotland’s Community Asset Transfer Scheme.
The project includes plans for multiple crannogs that will become the focal point of a new state-of-the-art museum.
Scottish Crannog Centre MD, Mike Benson, said;
“Over the past 20 years, the Scottish Crannog Centre has developed from its origins as part of a research project carried out on Loch Tay by the pioneering underwater archaeologist Dr. Nick Dixon OBE, to become an internationally recognised and hugely popular attraction.
“I doubt anyone would have anticipated back then just how successful the museum would become. So successful, in fact that the current site is just too small, both to cope with the thousands of visitors we get every year and to cope with our plans to expand."
The crannog is already a much-loved iconic building and STUA intends to ensure that the development is sympathetic to the natural environment.
There will be a phased implementation of the masterplan, which will be co-produced with local communities and that will retain the spirit of the current site by being intimate, human sized and immersive.
“We are absolutely delighted not only to have been working so closely alongside Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) but also that our application to the FLS CATS scheme has been approved.
“Finding a site in the same vicinity was crucial to our plans, setting ourselves upon a path to being a sustainable, special place that is respected, loved and admired, a national treasure with social justice at its heart that, more than anything, matters to the public we are here to serve. ‘’
The successful application will see a 4ha site on the north shore of Loch Tay, opposite the existing Crannog Centre, transferred to the Crannog’s governing Trust. Known as Dalerb, the site is currently a picnic area and car park, regularly used by the local community, which the Trust has committed to continue to maintain.
The project will deliver a range of social benefits including 55 FTE jobs, a targeted apprenticeship scheme and volunteering opportunities, as well as research and education opportunities with schools and universities, and increased engagement with local community schools, businesses, artists and traditional craft people.
It is anticipated that developing and constructing the new centre could contribute £2.1 million to the Scottish economy, with just over a quarter of that being invested locally.
Judith Webb, Chairperson of the CATS Evaluation Panel, said:
“We had no hesitation in recommending the transfer of the site. This was an unusual, fascinating and robust application for what is clearly an outstanding scheme and exciting project.
“It has every prospect of becoming an international centre of excellence and a 5-star attraction that would deliver significant local economic benefits and be of national significance. “This is great for the centre, great for the local area and great for Scotland.”
Notes to editors
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.