A new teaching and events space is planned for Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Hill and Mountain Research Centre, near Crianlarich in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
The upgrade will include a new space for up to 50 people. The space is required to meet the growing demands on the Hill and Mountain Research Centre for teaching, tourism, research and events. The new facilities are expected to open in 2022.
The Hill and Mountain Research Centre, based at Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farms, is a 2,200-hectare Highland estate with accommodation, a small events space, a farm shop, as well as 1,600 sheep. The centre specialises in studying economically, environmentally and socially sustainable upland management systems.
The investment is part of the £35million plan for SRUC’s South and West Faculty. By creating new facilities at the Hill and Mountain Research Centre, SRUC will enhance the site with digital teaching technology, faster internet, better facilities and room for more people.
Students visiting the centre will benefit from a new digital classroom. Researchers will be able to use the space as a base and site for knowledge transfer. SRUC also plan to make the space available to local community groups, external partners and colleagues in SRUC Consulting.
Guests staying at the SRUC managed wigwam, lodges and farmhouse will also be able to use the building as a gathering spot for corporate retreats. The team at the centre also hope to attract more schools visits to promote careers in the rural sector.
Professor Davy McCracken, SRUC’s head of integrated land management (South and West), said: ‘Over the past five years we’ve developed the Hill and Mountain Research Centre as a site of international excellence. The upgraded centre will have so many benefits for the future of our research, for the local community, for student outreach and for people staying on site to enjoy the wonderful scenery.
‘We’ll be keeping everyone up to date with the progress over the next few years.’