Energy company builds £4m visitor centre to tell the history of Scotland’s hydro power pioneers

The picturesque Pitlochry dam
The picturesque Pitlochry dam

A Scottish utility company is to open a new £4 million visitor centre-cum-museum to tell the history of Scotland’s pioneering hydro electric power industry.

Built beside Pitlochry dam, the centre will showcase the role played by the engineers who first brought hydro power to Scotland more than 70 years ago.

Outgoing SSE Chairman Lord Smith, said: “The North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board – which was always known affectionately by consumers as just ‘the Hydro Board’ –  is so much more than the forefathers of one of Scotland’s biggest companies.

“Hydro electricity improved the lives of people living in the north of Scotland and we have a responsibility to preserve and promote the remarkable stories from that time.

“Over the years SSE has been at the forefront of many energy firsts and it will strive to be good stewards of these assets for years to come. I believe the best way to share these stories, both old and new, is to bring them together under one roof and being a Perthshire company we are proud to be announcing this investment in Pitlochry.”

Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy (and Enterprise) Minister, said: “SSE has chosen a fantastic location for this centre which will provide a boost for both business and tourism in the Perthshire area. Not only will the construction period create jobs but once open the visitor centre will be another major attraction for tourists in the area.” 

The new centre will focus on heritage and celebrate the pioneering engineering and construction works which were undertaken in the early years following World War Two. Entry will be free and it will be open seven days a week throughout the year.

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