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
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