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Invitation to invest in Loch Ness venture


By Val Sweeney

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The former tourist information in Drumndrochit which is set to become the Loch Ness Hub.
The former tourist information in Drumndrochit which is set to become the Loch Ness Hub.

A community-led venture to create a tourism and green transport hub near Loch Ness is inviting the public to invest in the project as it moves closer to becoming a reality.

A community share offer is being launched in the final push to take ownership of the former tourist information centre and toilets in Drumnadrochit.

It will be launched on Saturday September 19 by the Loch Ness Hub, a new community benefit company set up by Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association (Gurca), which is working in partnership with local charity, Soirbheas.

The aim is to raise between £50,000 and £110,000.

Susan Clark of the Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association.
Susan Clark of the Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association.

Susan Clark, chairman of Gurca, said it would be the final push after two years.

“Members of the community – and anyone else – are being invited to invest in this exciting project to help put the last pieces of the jigsaw into place and allow the venture to be up and ready for the 2021 season,” she said.

“The vision is to reopen the building as a tourism and transport hub, creating local employment and channelling surplus profits back into community projects.”

After the building was vacated by Visit Scotland in October 2018, Gurca began the process of a community asset transfer of the building from Highland Council, having received resounding support from the community.

It has received funds from the Scottish Land fund to buy the building, and a grant from Scottish and Southern Energy towards setting up the social enterprise which will operate out of it.

“The provision, once again, of tourism information services in Drumnadrochit is considered more important than ever to help rebuild the tourism sector after the devastating effects of Covid-19 this summer,” Ms Clark said.

She said a successful community share offer would help provide a range of benefits including creating employment, addressing transport issues and encouraging active travel projects, generating funds to support community projects and making the community-self sustaining.

The project needs to raise at least £50,000 from the share offer but the more raised, the less it will have to borrow and the quicker a profit will be made.

Shares are set at £25 per share, with a minimum investment of £50 and a maximum of £11,000.

The launch event on September 19 will be at the Loch Ness Hub in Drumnadrochit village car park from 9am until 6pm.

Further information is available on lochnesshub.com .

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