A new visitor centre at the Highland Wildlife Park has moved closer after £100,000 of lottery funding was secured.
The development cash from the National Lottery Heritage Fund has been awarded to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), who run the park, to go towards creating Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre.
The wildlife park, which is near Kincraig and is home to the first polar cub to be born in the UK for 25 years, welcomed record-breaking visitor numbers last year.
Daska Mackintosh, Highland Wildlife Park’s head of operations and visitor services, said: “It is very exciting to receive this support thanks to National Lottery players.
“Hamish, the UK’s only polar bear cub, has been fantastic for us, attracting over 200,000 visitors to the park in 2018.
“Building Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre would help us continue to deliver excellent customer service to our increasing number of visitors and inspire them to appreciate and enjoy Scotland’s wildlife, as well as understand how they can help to conserve it.
“Detailed plans will now be drawn up in preparation for a final stage application for funding in 2020.”
The plans include flexible learning and educational event spaces to enable an expanded activity programme to give more people the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to the management of Scotland’s native wildlife heritage.
Community engagement workshops to provide further information and gather feedback will be held in village halls in Carrbridge on April 23, Newtonmore on April 24 and Kincraig on April 26.