Communities invited to tell their tales of the Crinan Canal

The public is being asked to help bring the story of ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’ to life as part of a £1.5 million project to create the ‘Egg Shed’ – a new heritage and community hub at the gateway to the Crinan Canal in Ardrishaig.

On May 8th, Scottish Canals will host an open day at the Steamer Terminal café in Ardrishaig, where the public will be able to view and comment on the plans for the Egg Shed – and share their own stories, photos, and memorabilia of the Crinan Canal and the communities on its banks.

The tales captured on the day could become a key part of the new attraction. For those unable to make it along to the event, stories, images and videos can be shared online at http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/eggshed

"The Egg Shed is set to bring the incredible tales of Mid-Argyll to life and we’re keen that the stories and memories of the local community play a key role in the project.

“From Queen Victoria’s journey along the ‘Royal Route’ to the British admiralty ordering the canal board to ‘extinguish all lights’ at the outbreak of World War II, the Crinan Canal has no shortage of amazing stories to tell.

“We may be the canal’s custodians, but it belongs to the communities on its banks; I’d encourage everyone to help tell its story by attending our open day on May 8th or sharing their thoughts online.”

Chris O’Connell, Heritage Manager at Scottish Canals

In recent years, Scottish Canals has worked with various partners and the local community to develop a shared vision for the future of the Crinan Canal corridor. The Egg Shed project marks the latest stage in the delivery of that vision and the transformation of Ardrishaig into a leisure, tourism and maritime hub.

As well as telling the story of the local area, the Egg Shed will include space for community activities and could host everything from art installations to pop-up exhibitions and opportunities for training, social enterprises and community groups. An array of public realm and access improvements also form part of the project, with plans to create new viewpoints and walkways around the building and new access connections with Ardrishaig.

Ríona McMorrow, Acting Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland, said:The Egg Shed, Interpreting Ardrishaig’s Heritage is a great project as it shows clearly how local heritage can be a catalyst for lots of different activities and bring people together behind a common purpose. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is pleased to support Scottish Canals in its plans and, thanks to National Lottery players, enable people to enjoy the history on their own doorstep.”

The Egg Shed project is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Community Argyll and the Islands LEADER 2014-2020 programme; the National Lottery Heritage Fund; the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund; Scottish Canals; Argyll and Bute Council’s Tarbert & Lochgilphead Regeneration Fund; Highlands & Islands Enterprise; SUSTRANS Community Links Fund; Shanks Argyll & Bute and Argyll & Bute Council through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund; and Ardrishaig Community Trust.

Scottish Canals and Argyll & Bute Council held a series of collaborative design workshops, known as a ‘charrette’, in 2016 to help shape the future of the Crinan Canal corridor. Supported by technical experts and designers, the sessions generated a number of ideas and proposals to help maximise the tourism, leisure and business opportunities offered by the canal and ensure the long-term future of Ardrishaig, Crinan and Lochgilphead. The regeneration of the former Gleaner Oil depot in Ardrishaig, of which the Egg Shed forms a key part, was one of the key priorities identified by the community.

More information on the upcoming event and the Egg Shed project can be found at www.scottishcanals.co.uk/eggshed  

Notes to Editors

About Scottish Canals

  • Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five Scottish canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel. See www.ScottishCanals.co.uk or follow @ScottishCanals for more information
  • The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands, together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness
  • Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles
  • Today Scottish Canals is utilising these 18th century assets along with innovative technology to tackle modern problems. Through working with partners to create pioneering systems, Scottish Canals is helping to combat flooding and driving positive transformation in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas
  • The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22million visits per year. See www.scottishcanals.co.uk for more information

About the Crinan Canal

  • Meandering through the ancient coastal kingdom known as ‘Dalriada’ in the Heart of Argyll, the nine-mile-long canal links Ardrishaig at the Firth of Clyde with the picturesque village of Crinan and the world-class sailing of the west coast.
  • Once a thriving freight artery, the 200-year waterway may be home to yachts and barges rather than Clyde Puffers nowadays but it’s still a vital link for boaters looking to avoid the long journey around the Mull of Kintyre.
  • More than 1,600 vessels from all over the world transit the Crinan Canal each year.

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund

  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

For further information, please contact:

Chris McDonald at Scottish Canals on 07917217608 or email Chris.McDonald@scottishcanals.co.uk

Josie Saunders at Scottish Canals on 07881816283 or email Josie.Saunders@scottishcanals.co.uk

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