Restoration work is under way to transform a dilapidated village hall into a £2.5 million visitor destination on the banks of Loch Ness.
The Victorian Dochgarroch Hall has been steadily falling into disrepair over the past decade, but will now be painstakingly restored and extended to house a café, visitor centre and craft shop for Highland produce.
Behind the development is cruise company Loch Ness by Jacobite. Managing director Freda Newton described the new development as something for visitors and locals alike.
She said: “They will be able to gather, share stories, and learn about Loch Ness and the historic Dochfour Estate.
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“Visitors will experience a new retail offer showcasing the best of what Scotland has to offer within a unique and eclectic environment.
“We’re extremely passionate about promoting incredible local produce, committed local suppliers and the Highland way of life to all visitors, made all the more fitting by the building itself which has been a community hub for almost a hundred years.”
Ms Newton said she toured the UK’s best cafés, bakeries, tearooms and craft stores to develop her vision, and that the alterations would be sympathetic to the distinctive building and retain the original character of the hall.
Licensed specialist bat advisors have worked with Scottish Natural Heritage to ensure there are no adverse effects on the local bat population, she added.
The new centre overlooks the Caledonian Canal and Dochgarroch Locks, and came about after the partial relocation of the Loch Ness by Jacobite cruises from its original Inverness base at Tomnahurich Bridge to a temporary building at Dochgarroch Lock to avoid impact from the new West Link road and wider redevelopment in the area.
Once complete, it will include a ticket reception and entrance hall, retail outlet, a 90-seat café built around a new central courtyard, and external terrace overlooking the Caledonian Canal towpath and quayside.