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Gairloch delight as £725,000 heritage hub windfall arrives in time for Christmas

By SPP Reporter

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An artist's impression of how the new development will look
An artist's impression of how the new development will look

AN AMBITIOUS multimillion-pound Wester Ross project to convert a Cold War anti-aircraft operations room into a dynamic local heritage hub has taken a big step forward after being awarded a £725,000 grant.

The Heritage Lottery Fund cash is a key part of the financial package for the new Gairloch Heritage Museum and it is hoped it will attract match funding.

Now all efforts will be focussed on raising the remaining money needed by next summer.

The community project wants to convert the empty building, which was previously used as a council depot, into a new museum and shared centre for learning as a replacement to the current premises at Achtercairn.

Hopes are high it will become a landmark visitor attraction for the area.

A statement was posted on the museum’s website this week announcing the news.

It said: “We are thrilled to be able to report that Gairloch Heritage Museum has received a confirmed grant of £725,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for our project Our Land, Our People, Our Story, which will build a new museum for Gairloch.

“The investment is a vital part of the total funding package for the project, and we believe it will be the catalyst that will attract the substantial amount of match funding that still needs to be raised by next summer.

“This is now the absolute priority for the museum and we would love to hear from anyone who has ideas or energy to help out with the fundraising campaign.

“Although it is a huge task to raise the remaining monies, the museum board and volunteers are determined to secure the future of the museum for our members and our community.

“To get this far is a massive achievement for a volunteer led organisation in a small and remote community.

“Now let’s raise the rest of the match funding and make sure the project goes ahead.”

The new premises will provide an environmentally controlled home for Gairloch Heritage Museum’s collections. It also aims to provide enhanced education and training opportunities, job creation and increased visitor spend.

The museum has been managed and run by volunteers since 1977. It houses the first Pictish stone found on the west coast mainland of Scotland, and its Gaelic language and literature resources are valued by Gaelic scholars.

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