An artist's impression of the Dochgarroch Hall, which is to become a visitor centre
An artist's impression of the Dochgarroch Hall, which is to become a visitor centre

A new visitor centre by the banks of Loch Ness

Restoration work has started at the site of a new multi-million pound visitor destination on the banks of Loch Ness.

Housed within the former Dochgarroch village hall, the new unique destination is due to open its doors in May 2019 and is poised to become a beacon of Highland hospitality.

Once complete, the development, which overlooks the Caledonian Canal and Dochgarroch Locks, will house a café, visitor centre and craft shop showcasing the best of local produce from the finest Highland suppliers.

Behind the project is Freda Newton MBE, managing director of Loch Ness by Jacobite.

Freda said: ‘Our new visitor experience will be a place for visitors and locals alike to gather, share stories, and learn about Loch Ness and the historic Dochfour Estate. Visitors will experience a new retail offer showcasing the best of what Scotland has to offer within a unique and eclectic environment.

‘We’re extremely passionate about promoting incredible local produce, committed local suppliers and the Highland way of life to all visitors, made all the more fitting by the building itself which has been a community hub for almost a hundred years.’

An artist’s impression of the Dochgarroch Hall, which is to become a visitor centre

The coming months will see the existing Dochgarroch Hall completely refurbished, together with a new extension creating a bespoke facility for visitors.

Once complete, the development will include a ticket reception and entrance hall, retail outlet, a 90-seat café built around a new central courtyard, and external terrace overlooking the Caledonian Canal towpath and quayside.

Carrying out the sensitive restoration work from the start of October is Morrison Construction.

Morrison Construction’s managing director of Building Highland, Donald Mclachlan, said: ‘We are delighted to have been entrusted with the construction of the new visitor destination for Loch Ness by Jacobite.

‘It is always pleasing when a prestigious Highland client selects a local contractor to deliver their project.

‘We look forward to working proactively with Loch Ness by Jacobite team and our proven supply chain in constructing what will undoubtedly be a fantastic facility for both the local community and visitors to the Highlands.’