The former Falls of Shin visitor centre, previously owned by Al Fayed, was destroyed by fire in May 2013.
Following this, and after several months of Stakeholder meetings and planning, the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust was invited by Big Lottery Fund Scotland to submit a Stage 2 Growing Community Assets Application for project funding to rebuild the popular attraction.
Valerie Houston was employed as Project Officer and worked with the community, stakeholders (Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council, Forestry Commission Scotland, VisitScotland and Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust) and Design Team (CH Architecture and WSD Scotland Ltd) to lead the Project to submission of the Stage 2 Application for funding in November 2015.
During this first phase, funding applications were also submitted to Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council, Forestry Commission Scotland and SSE Achany Community Fund. By March 2016, the majority of Project funding was in place with the final piece being confirmed in May.
In June 2016, the next phase of the Falls of Shin Project began with Valerie Houston being welcomed back as Implementation Manager and Sasha Hudekova employed part time as Project Officer. William Gray Construction Ltd were appointed as the main contractor.
Falls of Shin was officially opened on Saturday 13 May with a day of celebrations for the local community, dubbed ‘Celebra-Shin’.
A programme of events and interactive activities for all the family was devised by the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. A market village was set up on site with stalls from local businesses. A range of food was also available representing the best produce from around the Highlands. The new grassy plaza was turned into a performance platform, showcasing the talents of local musicians, dancers and gymnasts throughout the day and into the evening.
The restaurant and gift shop have been opened since 1st May 2017 serving a range of delicious meals, snacks, refreshments and cakes from 10am, 7 days a week.
So if you are in the area and thinking of things to do why not pop up and see the new Falls of Shin visitor attraction. Take a walk in the woods, play in the new play-park, explore the visitor centre, restaurant and cafe and view the falls and leaping salmon. There’s so much to enjoy!
For further information please contact Dale Pryde-Macdonald, Experience Officer, Falls of Shin Community Project:
T: 01863 766 190