National award salutes success of Gairloch Museum’s redevelopment fundraiser


GAIRLOCH, 4th June 2018 – Gairloch Heritage Museum’s major fundraising initiative to develop and relocate was Highly Commended at the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence in London last week.  The success of the year long campaign to finance the redevelopment project ‘Our Land, Our People, Our Story’ has been quick to gain recognition since it achieved its £2,400,000 fundraising goal in February of this year.


Having been shortlisted in the Fundraising Initiative category, the Museum was able to send Learning and Interpretation Officer, Katie Pilcher, to pick up the ‘Highly Commended’ award at a ceremony in Trafalgar Square, thanks to a grant from The Association of Independent Museums. The ceremony is the culmination of the Museum + Heritage annual show which attracts museum professionals from all over the UK, and this year was hosted by Reverend Richard Coles. Describing the event, Miss. Pilcher said, ‘This was an opportunity to learn from the best museums and heritage attractions in the sector and explore new ways of thinking and working in our own organisation as we work towards our new museum.’


The award acknowledges the feat undertaken by staff, volunteers and a myriad of public and private donors to secure the future of the museum which will provide the Gairloch community and its visitors with year-round access to its unique collection and archives. Construction on the new building started in February of this year.  Funders include Heritage Lottery Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Historic Environment Scotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with hundreds of individual donations besides. Museum curator, Dr. Karen Buchanan, says of the award, ‘We are proud of the achievements of our volunteers and delighted that they have been recognised by our peers in the museum world. ’


The construction phase of the project is now well underway, transforming the new building, a former Cold War radar bunker, which had been on the Scottish Buildings at Risk Register, into an environmentally-controlled space for the Museum’s collections and archives. Progress is being tracked by the museum's followers on social media and in the local newspaper thanks to photographer Mark Appleton whose photos are documenting the entire process. Due to open in Spring 2019, the new site will be both a visitor attraction and community heritage hub. The award affirms the enduring value of our local, independent museums to national cultural life and celebrates the commitment of the people of Gairloch to preserving their heritage.


Museum Volunteers are Recipients of Prestigious Queen’s Award




GAIRLOCH, 18th July 2017 – A group of dedicated volunteers who have been preserving the heritage of their area for the past forty years has been honoured with a prestigious award.  Gairloch and District Heritage Company has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.  The group runs the popular Gairloch Heritage Museum, and is currently undertaking an ambitious redevelopment project to build a new home for the museum.


The work Gairloch and District Heritage Company group does for the community was very much admired by the independent Assessment Committee who made the recommendation for the award.  The award represents a tremendous achievement for Gairloch and District Heritage Company and is a wonderful recognition of the extent and standard of the work its volunteers do and how much the organisation has achieved through their efforts.


Curator of Gairloch Heritage Museum Dr Karen Buchanan said “I am thrilled that our fabulous group of volunteers has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen.  It is a proud moment for the museum, which punches well above its weight thanks to the dedication and talents of all involved.   Our volunteers really do deserve this award as they work tirelessly not only to preserve the heritage of the communities we serve, but also to create a fantastic heritage and education facility for the future.”


The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.  The award was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, recognising excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.  It sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering by such groups.  Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty presented the award to the museum volunteers at the Gairloch Sheepdog Trials on 15th July.



Gairloch Museum :  Gairloch • Ross-shire • IV21 2BH • UK

Curator : Dr. Karen Buchanan (Thompson)

tel : 01445 712287

email : info@gairlochmuseum.org

Gairloch Heritage Museum is operated by Gairloch & District Heritage Company Ltd

 which is run by volunteers and is a registered charity no. SC010249