In 2018, members of the Community voted in favour of GURCA investigating the possibility of taking over what was the old Tourist Information Centre and bringing it into Community Ownership to form the Loch Ness Hub. It was clear that we needed to find a viable revenue stream to run to justify the running costs of the building as well as staffing costs if the building did move into community ownership.
Today we have established the award winning Loch Ness Hub (a Community Benefit Society) with GURCA as the anchor shareholder, providing tourism and transport services and also running Loch Ness Travel – a baggage transfer business moving bags for walkers who are trekking the Great Glen Way and other long distance trails.
This project involved the following:
- Working group established and business plan created to show the financial viability of the proposal
- Community Asset Transfer of the building from Highland Council to GURCA
- Funding package put together for purchase of the building, purchase of the baggage transfer business, refurbishment of the building and set up costs
- Community share offer – raised a phenomenal £110,000 in just 4 weeks
- Creation of the Loch Ness Hub Community Benefit Society
GURCA owns the building and now leases this to Loch Ness Hub who manage the building, run the business and manage the public toilets.
We are grateful to all our funders who helped to get the project off the ground and supported the first year of operation:
Scottish Land Fund: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/scottish-land-fund
Local Energy Scotland: https://localenergy.scot/
HIE – Highlands and Islands Enterprise: https://www.hie.co.uk/