SSE on track to open new £4m visitor centre in Pitlochry in January 2017

Construction work on Pitlochry’s new £4m visitor attraction is nearing completion with SSE poised to open its doors to the public at the end of January 2017. 

Work began last year at the visitor centre and 60 seat café at Pitlochry dam and power station, which is expected to draw 88,000 people every year once open. 

Situated on the banks of the River Tummel the year round, free to enter, centre will host an exhibition outlining the unique history of hydro electricity that showcases the social, environmental and engineering impacts of bringing power to the Highlands. 

The Visitor Centre will provide employment for up to 11 core staff supplemented by around six seasonal staff during peak season, with advertising for these roles expected to get underway soon. 

SSE Head of Heritage, Gillian O’Reilly, said: “We are excited the Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre will welcome its first visitors early next year. The construction phase of the project has progressed smoothly and it’s great to see the building take shape. It will be a major tourist and economic boost for Pitlochry and the surrounding area.  

“We hope to employ the majority of our team locally and are optimistic we will attract first class candidates from the Pitlochry area. We will start off with a core team of visitor and catering assistants and will grow the team to meet visitor demand. We have recently welcomed new centre manager Lisa Daniels, formerly of Historic Environment Scotland (HES), to the project.” 

The café – with covered outside seating - will serve fresh local produce with views over Pitlochry dam and the River Tummel. In addition the newly appointed operational team has sourced a range of interesting and relevant souvenir and gift merchandise for the gift shop. 

The centre boasts a multi purpose room which will be used as an education centre for organised educational visits. It will also host meetings and small conferences for up to 70 delegates.    

Situated at the end of the Tummel valley, the picturesque Pitlochry Dam is already a major tourist attraction, with an estimated 500,000 visitors crossing it each year. It also boasts a popular fish ladder and the scenic beauty of Loch Faskally.

SSE has recently converted the former visitor centre in Pitlochry into a corporate archive, open to the general public by appointment, which stores many historical blueprints, speeches and artefacts.