As part of our tourism and destination development strategy, Scottish Canals is creating a world class visitor and destination hub at Fort Augustus.
Situated on the southernmost tip of Loch Ness, Fort Augustus is a popular canalside tourist destination attracting over 300,000 visitors each year. This is a spectacular location on the breathtaking coast to coast connection provided by the Caledonian Canal through the Great Glen.
The Caledonian Canal Centre will provide new facilities for visitors and locals alike. We will develop a sustainable tourism offering which celebrates this unique and strategic location on the canal network and provides significant socio-economic benefit for the local rural community.
The project involves the redevelopment of existing vacant premises in Fort Augustus, bringing the redundant building back into a productive and sustainable use. It will deliver visitor facilities, which are open all year round, including information, a gift shop promoting relevant and locally produced goods and a café serving homemade, Scottish produce. We will also have a grab and go offer boasting fresh coffee and artisan ice-cream. The new centre will include a number of holiday rooms to let for guests who want to make Fort Augustus their base. More information on the rooms, as well as how to book, will be posted here in due course.
Visitor interpretation will be incorporated throughout the centre which will unlock the wealth of local heritage and internationally-renowned local features of the Caledonian Canal, Great Glen and Loch Ness. We will be working with the local community to develop the stories and bring this rich heritage to life. As part of the project, Scottish Canals will employ a Community Engagement Officer whose role will be funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund – if you are interested in this role we’d love to hear from you – take a look and apply here.
The new centre will attract and facilitate increasing visitor numbers. It will extend visitor dwell time in the village and promote Fort Augustus as a long-stay, year-round destination, underpinning social and economic development by providing access to jobs and economic activity.
We will be starting the recruitment process soon for enthusiastic candidates with an interest tourism, travel, international visitors, boating or outdoor activities. If you are interested in joining this exciting new team, please keep an eye out for vacancies in our join our team page.
We are delighted that the project has been awarded £237,500 of Coastal Communities Funding. Work on the new Caledonian Canal Centre will get underway from September 2017 with aspirations for a Summer 2018 opening.