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The National Trust for Scotland officially opened its new million-pound visitor centre at Glencoe with a VIP event on Friday.
Chief executive Simon Skinner invited guests from the community and partners involved in the project to celebrate at the centre, which has received more than £1 million of investment to create a more immersive, informative and welcoming gateway to Glencoe.
Interiors have been modernised throughout, taking a fresh approach to revealing the stories that make Glencoe a place cherished by visitors from across the globe.
History, wildlife and things to do in the glen are brought to life through innovative design, visual display, sound and sculpture. There is a new film screening area, exhibition space, cafe and information hub with 3D map.
Guests attending the VIP event were also able to view the Watchful Stag, a new contemporary sculpture created by wildlife sculptor Andrew Kay.
Standing more than two metres tall within the woodland glade surrounding the eco-friendly visitor centre, the sculpture is made from carefully chosen three-dimensional brushstrokes of welded metal and has been described as a sketch in steel. It represents a fleeting glimpse in the wild of this emblem of the Highland landscape.
Also by Andrew Kay, a stag’s head and eagle in the cafe create a wonderful feature and, Glencoe, a metre-long metal creation by Edinburgh-based blacksmith K Paxton, greets visitors as they buy their refreshments.
Some 100 guests attended the event and were treated to a taste of the menu at the new Highland Coo Cafe, a chance to explore the improved centre and join walks and talks with Glencoe’s senior ranger, Scott McCombie, and trust archaeologist Derek Alexander.
Mr Skinner declared the centre officially open by cutting a ribbon, and commenting: ‘Glencoe is one of the most significant locations cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. It’s steeped in history and is known the world over for its outstanding beauty.
‘We’ve invested heavily in better telling the story of Glencoe, making sure the new centre offers visitors a memorable and enjoyable experience, allowing them to immerse themselves in this incredible place. I’m delighted to have attended this special event and declare our new centre officially open.’
In 2018, more than 210,000 people visited the Glencoe Visitor Centre and with the improvements, the National Trust for Scotland is confident of increased numbers in 2019 and beyond.
Simon Skinner, Chief Executive National Trust for Scotland officially open the new Glencoe Visitor Centre . PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE.
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