People crowded into the Farmhouse Gallery area at Calanais Visitor Centre on Saturday where Urras nan Tursachan, the community trust which runs the facility, was holding a drop-in information session to look at the Calanais Visitor Centre Redevelopment Project.
The purpose of the information session was to show the local community the plans for the project which will extend the centre with a new building stretching down towards the lochside and change the uses made of the existing building.
The project, which may cost between £3 and 4 million, is intended to greatly expand the interpretation facilities and information available at the centre and around it, as well as greatly expanding the shop and café facilities which can no longer cope with the number of visitors. The visitor numbers have grown very rapidly recently, from 14,000 in 2008 to more than 41,000 in 2013 … and then beat that record again last year!
Once the outline of the project is agreed, applications for funding will be made to organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. If everything goes forward without a hitch, building work could begin in the winter of 2016-17, and the aim is to keep the existing centre functioning as much as possible while the extension is added.
Also see: https://callanishvisitorcentre.wordpress.com/