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Major improvements have started at the community-owned Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Complex which received support from the Highland Coastal Communities Fund (HCCF).
The site remains closed to the public with no pedestrian or vehicle access while TSL Contractors Ltd carry out groundworks.
The full programme includes improvements to the condition of the site’s much-loved heritage foghorn and viewing platform, the resurfacing of parking areas, better provisions for EV drivers and cyclists, more accessible footpaths and a new scenic seating area designed by landscape architect David Graham of Craignish Design Limited.
Project manager Stephanie Cope said: ‘After a tricky first year under community ownership, I’m unbelievably excited to watch plans for outdoor areas of this site unfold.
‘The lighthouse complex is rightly beloved by local people and our proposals were mandated by them. We have a lot of work still to do but I can’t wait to see this site looking its best, delivering maximum benefit to our remote community and welcoming guests of all abilities for a terrific west-coast experience.’
All the work is intended to make the site’s infrastructure more resilient and more accessible. An overhaul of the signs and interpretation boards will follow later this summer, in conjunction with Archaeology Scotland’s community-led ‘Ardnamurchan: The Real Wild West’ Adopt-a-Monument initiative.
Chairman of Highland Council’s Community and Place Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson, said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to support this excellent community-owned visitor attraction by supporting the HCCF application and easing the Economic Development Burden to allow funding from Scottish Land Fund.
‘This is the type of attraction that helps spread tourists across the area and they get a chance to visit one of our most fragile rural areas.’
A partial reopening of the lighthouse complex is expected in June 2021 but guests are strongly advised to check the trust’s website and Facebook page for updates before planning a visit. Due to restricted turning space and the presence of construction traffic, people should avoid walking or driving out to the site until access advice is updated.
Funding to deliver these essential improvements was secured from Archaeology Scotland, the Highland Coastal Communities Fund, the Highland Council, the Scottish Land Fund and VisitScotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.