The Scottish Crannog Centre in Highland Perthshire has unveiled plans to transform its museum into a “national treasure” after submitting plans to purchase 12 acres of land on Loch Tay.
The ambitious project would see the Kenmore tourist attraction build multiple crannogs, an Iron Age village and create 35 new jobs at the rural beauty spot.
Directors at the centre hope the new venture will attract more than 50,000 visitors a year and believe the museum can emulate the success of the V&A at the other end of the Tay.
However they fear there is no way to increase footfall and visitor numbers at their current site.
The Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology (STUA) has now put forward an asset transfer request to Forestry and Land Scotland on behalf of the museum to purchase the land at Dalerb, including the current car park and picnic area.
The centre, which currently closes during winter months, also hopes to become a year round attraction and provide creative studio space for artists and units for small businesses.
They believe the land purchase will protect the long-term future of the centre, which has operated as a visitor centre for 20 years, and the project would see a main building developed to modern museum standards.
The proposal has won the support of schools and community workers in the local area.
Dr Marco Gilardi, of the University of the West of Scotland, said: “In the past year, the Scottish Crannog Centre has shown a positive attitude toward change and is making giant steps in its renovation, re-designing itself as a modern immersive experience and living museum.
“The Scottish Crannog Centre staff were a pleasure to work with and the UWS team looks forward to continuing the collaboration and to help them to become a National Treasure and a model for modern living museums.”
A partnership has been set up between the centre and Breadalbane Academy to develop opportunities for young people to increase employment skills and the museum continues to run its targeted apprenticeship scheme.