For some time the Gairloch Heritage Museum has faced an uncertain future owing to lack of space in our current premises and the inability to extend our lease beyond 2018. The Heritage Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are now supporting us in our plans to convert the old Anti-aircraft Operations Room (AAOR) in the centre of the village into an exciting new heritage centre for the area.

This page contains details of our redevelopment activities so far, and updates on funding.

Donate Now

Construction work is now well underway at the AAOR building. We are lucky enough to have Mark Appleton Photography documenting the transformation from bunker to new museum. We will be regularly updating our Facebook page with images of how the construction work is progressing,

so check there for the

latest news and photographs.

February 2018


Contractors Move In


Construction work began on the AAOR building on Monday 5th February. The contractors are local firm Simpsons of Beauly who worked on the recent redevelopment of nearby Inverewe House. This is a huge milestone for the museum and the Gairloch community is watching progress with interest. We are delighted to have procured the services of Mark Appleton to document the project. He will be creating a high quality photographic record of the AAOR throughout its transformation into our new museum. He has already taken ‘before’ photographs, preserving the details of the building before construction starts. He will be taking photographs throughout the construction work and after the building has been completed. Click here to view some of the images.


Mark captures some incredible photographs, particular of the local landscape. Use the link to his website to see more of his work -


February 2018


We Did It


Gairloch Heritage Museum has achieved its goal to reach £2.4 million for its much needed new museum. This is amazing news for the new year as we move forwards negotiating start dates and costs with contractors. The final piece of the fundraising jigsaw fell into place when we received the news that we had been successful in our application to Highland LEADER (European funding).  We have also been informed that Historic Environment Scotland will contribute funding to the project, which will be targeted at retaining as many of the original features of the building as possible.

As often happens, the cost of the building work has come in a little over what we had budgeted and we will therefore continue to fundraise throughout the course of the project.  Heritage Lottery Fund (Scotland) is satisfied that we have raised sufficient match funding for the project to go ahead and has given us permission to start construction.  We would like to express our thanks everyone in our community and beyond for their support throughout the campaign, particularly our amazing volunteers.


August 2017


£200,000 Award from Highland Council Capital Discretionary Fund


Gairloch and District Heritage Company is one of three community projects to have benefited from a total award of £290k from Highland Council’s capital discretionary fund by Members of the Council’s Corporate Resources Committee.


Our redevelopment project has been awarded the bulk of the funding – a grant of £200,000. The award recognises the impact the project will have on our community and substantially closes our remaining funding gap. We expect to have the full funds in place by early December and be ready to start building in January.  We are nearly there!


To make a donation, please visit

July 2017

£40,000 from Museums Galleries Scotland for Learning and Interpretation Officer


We have been successful in attracting £40,000 from Museums Galleries Scotland's Museum Development Fund to employ a second museum professional to assist with our redevelopment project.  The new post will focus on two specific aspects of the project:


1. driving the wide range of learning and engagement activities associated with our new museum project

2. working closely with our permanent curator on the interpretation and exhibition content for the new museum


We have also had generous donations from two private trusts this month- The Ravensdale Trust and the Adam C.I. Naylor Charitable Trust.


We are awaiting the outcome of two funding applications which, if successful, will complete our match funding portfolio and enable Heritage Lottery Fund to give us permission to start construction in January 2018. In the meantime, we continue to actively fund raise and are grateful for all donations and offers of help.

June 2017

£45,000 further Funding Received from Private Trusts


 We are pleased to report a couple more successes in attracting funding from private trusts for the museum redevelopment fund.  The Wolfson Foundation has confirmed an award of £40,000 towards the cost of the display areas in the new museum.  The Wolfson Foundation is a charity awarding grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science and medicine, the arts and humanities, education and health and disability.  The grant was awarded following rigorous and independent expert review and recognises the quality of our project.


 A further £5,000 has been awarded by the Radcliffe Trust.  This is the second year that we benefitted from funding from this trust, which is one of Britain’s oldest charities, founded in 1714 by the will of Dr John Radcliffe.  The trust supports Music, Heritage and Crafts.  Money received from them last year funded the appointment of a conservator to train our volunteers and condition check the objects in our collection.  They also paid for conservation materials required for this work.  The new funding will continue this work and start packaging our collection for the decant to the new building.


 We have also had a number of private donations recently which have helped bring our total closer to the sum we need in order for the Heritage Lottery Fund to permit us to start building.  Time is pressing, and we are working hard to ensure we can still start on time.

May 2017

A further £60,000 from Private Trusts Raised for New Museum Fund


Our fundraising campaign continues its momentum with a substantial donation received last week from the Garfield Weston Foundation.  The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, charitable grant-making foundation, which supports a wide range of causes across the UK, donating over £60 million annually.  It was established in 1958 by the Weston family and since then has donated over £960 million to charitable causes. Willard Garfield Weston was a businessman who moved to the UK with his family in 1932 and was the founder of Associated British Foods.  The Trustees are descendants of the founder and the Weston family continues to take a highly active role within the Foundation.  The foundation hopes that their pledge of £50,000 to the new museum fund will encourage other funders to support the project.


Other recent donations to the new museum fund from private trusts include £8000 from the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation and £1000 from the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust.  We are now very close to the £2 million mark and still fundraising hard to raise the remaining funds required.


March 2017

£445,000 awarded by Scottish Government to redevelopment project


The museum recently learned that our redevelopment project is one of two projects in the Highlands that will benefit from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.  This fund, delivered in partnership with COSLA and local government, supports locally developed regeneration projects that involve local communities, helping to support and create jobs and build sustainable communities. Highland Council applied to the fund on our behalf and we are grateful for their continuing support with our project. The £350,000 that we have been awarded by the fund is a huge boost to the project


We have also benefited from a further £95,000 from the Scottish Government's Vacant and Derelict Land Fund. This money will be allocated to tidying up the site before building works commence, for example demolishing the derelict single story building in front of the AAOR and removing contamination from asbestos, fuel and road salts from the site.


These funds bring us a lot closer to achieving the total match funding we need before Heritage Lottery Fund will allow the project to start. The project timetable is for building work to start in the early autumn of this year, and it is looking increasingly likely that this will go ahead.

December 2016

We are thrilled to be able to report that Gairloch Heritage Museum has received a confirmed grant of £725,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for our project ‘Our Land, Our People, Our Story’, which will build a new museum for Gairloch.


The investment by Heritage Lottery Fund is a vital part of the total funding package for the project, and we believe it will be the catalyst that will attract the substantial amount of match funding that still needs to be raised by next summer. This is now the absolute priority for the museum and we would love to hear from anyone who has ideas or energy to help out with the fundraising campaign.  Although it is a huge task to raise the remaining monies, the museum board and volunteers are determined to secure the future of the museum for our members and our community. To get this far is a massive achievement for a volunteer led organisation in a small and remote community.  Now let's raise the rest of the match funding and make sure the project goes ahead!


Gairloch Heritage Museum :   Achtercairn • Gairloch • Ross-shire • IV21 2BP • UK

Curator : Dr. Karen Buchanan (Thompson)

tel : 01445 712287

email :

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

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