A visitor centre in Highland Perthshire which was mothballed last year will reopen in 2021 under local operators and could host festivals once pandemic restrictions are dropped.
Sally Judd and David Mckenzie from The Tulach Restaurant in Blair Atholl and Food in the Park, along with its live music venue, have been unveiled as successful candidates whose proposal was chosen by The National Trust for Scotland to bring Killiecrankie Visitor Centre back to life.
The popular Highland Perthshire tourist attraction has been shut for much of last year and local residents were concerned that demolition was being considered.
Plans to make the visitor centre a popular, year-round tourist destination once again got the nod of approval from National Trust bosses.
A major refurbishment is underway, but restrictions mean the implementation of these plans is now slightly delayed. A provisional opening date of Easter weekend was hoped for, but the operators say that may be unlikely now.
Sally and David’s plans include hosting indoor and outdoor music events, talks, festivals and children’s activities throughout the year.
The new management team will be planning these as soon as restrictions allow, but say they already have a pair of famous authors lined up and interested in public talks
The operators will also be running their own events and seasonal festivals and say they are keen to work closely with local groups and event-runners, especially those with local, historical links.
They hope the centre will also act as a central hub for locals and visitors by providing detailed information on the surrounding area and its historical links, what’s on details and pointers of things to do for tourists.
Amongst the family-focused facilities and activities planned Sally and David will be making the most include wooden play areas, nature hubs, birdwatching platforms and a permanent fairy treasure hunt in the forest.
As bosses, they’ll also reopen onsite catering and a retail area for souvenirs and maps.
Boot, bike and dog washing facilities will be introduced to cater for the 1000s of walkers and riders that they hope will visit the area.
Sally said: “We’re very excited at the opportunity and we look forward very much to working closely with the NTS, the local community and all involved to make the centre a vibrant, central hub to all.
“Rest assured that we will bring our usual professionalism to this project and our experience and positive drive and energy will help ensure that Killiecrankie Visitor Centre is a buzzing place again.
“Killiecrankie Visitor Centre will be run with the same ethos as our other establishments – family orientated, relaxing and friendly with a community spirit.
“There is a lot of work to do ahead of opening and as soon as we’re allowed, we will start the transformation and keep everyone informed of our progress.”