75,000 visitors - Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre smashes visitor number estimates
Pitlochry’s newest and most dramatic visitor centre opened its doors to the public for the first time in late January expecting to reach 88,000 visitors in the first year. But in just six months it has already welcomed 75,000 visitors through its doors.
The free entry centre showcases the great engineering feats of the early hydro projects, the benefits to society of bringing power to the glens and the incredible story of how salmon navigate their way through SSE’s dams and fish ladders.
To help celebrate the fantastic early visitor numbers, UK Government Minister for Scotland, Lord Ian Duncan, joined SSE’s Head of Heritage Gillian O’Reilly and Finance Director Gregor Alexander for a tour of the centre.
UK Government Minister Lord Duncan said:
“I first visited Pitlochry dam and power station on a school trip back in 1983. The sheer beauty of the scenery and the power of the dam stuck with me all those years. Scotland was a pioneer in hydro energy then, and it is heartening to see SSE continue to invest strongly in Pitlochry. The new visitor centre - only seven months old - is already proving to be a serious attraction in its own right, drawing visitors from all over Scotland, the UK and beyond. As the UK continues to confront the challenges of climate change, it is good to know that innovations are taking place right in the heart of Perthshire.”
SSE Head of Heritage, Gillian O’Reilly, is delighted with the centre’s first six months.
She said: “The first six months have been amazing. The visitor numbers are beating all expectations and we’re on course to surpass our full year target in the first seven months.
“On top of the great visitor numbers we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the local community and guests alike.
The main exhibition space uses a range of technologies to tell the story of the great engineering projects carried out by early pioneers to bring electricity to the Scottish Highlands.
The exhibits in the new centre also demonstrate how energy is harnessed from nature, using wind and water, and turned into electricity. In addition, visitors can discover the secrets of the annual journey made by salmon when they return to their native Perthshire rivers to spawn and the part played by our salmon ladder, which has been crossed by over 250,000 salmon since it was built in 1952.