New visitor centre welcomes 100,000 visitor

Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre, the new £4m tourist attraction built overlooking the Perthshire town’s famous hydro electric dam, has welcomed its 100,000th visitor since it was opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in February of this year.

And the family that walked through the doors to pass the special mile-stone had a unique connection to the centre. The visiting family, made up of three generations, are direct descendants of Ian Alistair Duncan Millar, former Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Hydro Electric Board. James Duncan Miller and his extended family were welcomed with a specially designed cake which they shared with their fellow visitors in the centre.

Gillian O’Reilly, SSE’s Head of Heritage, said: “We are very pleased that the Centre has proved to be so popular with visitors from Perthshire, other parts of Scotland and the rest of the UK and overseas. We are equally pleased to see the local tourism economy is having a good season. There are a lot of great attractions in and around Pitlochry and we are very proud to be part of it.”

“We are not resting on our laurels, however. In the short term, we have plans to mark Doors Open Day on the Saturday the 9th of September. Looking ahead, we are planning to mark the 75th anniversary next year of the Act of Parliament that gave rise to the network of hydro electric power schemes that are still providing clean electricity to customers to this day.”

Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Perthshire is renowned for its tourism reputation, boasting a diverse range of fascinating and beautiful attractions. Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre has become a welcome addition to this line up and has undoubtedly helped bring more visitors to the area. To be welcoming its 100,000th visitor in just over six months is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates a real appetite for experiences of this nature. I look forward to Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre continuing this success in 2018 and beyond. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it sustains communities, creates jobs and generates income.”

The Centre, which is free to visit, tells the story of hydro electricity in the north of Scotland, how it was built and the people who build it, and how it transformed the lives of the people living there.

It was developed and fully funded by SSE.

The Centre was expected to attract 88,000 visitors in its first year of operation. It is now targeting 125,000 visitors for its first 12 months of operation.