Studio LR to put Highland community back on the map

A rural Highland community is looking forward to the benefits of an environmental renewal scheme after a revamp of its tourist amenities by Studio LR.

The Scottish consultancy has created a fresh brand identity for Lairg’s Ferrycroft visitor centre, along with exhibitions, interactive installations, a retail area and café, as well as simplifying signage and tourist information for the area’s nature trails.

The £250 000 development is expected to help restore visitor numbers to Lairg to about 12 000 a year- the same level as ten years ago – says Adrian Clark, the area cultural officer for The Highland Council.

Studio LR was selected in December from a four-way pitch, following a formal tender process that tested methodology and approach.

Andy Gray, commercial director at Studio LR, says the identity takes its cue from the area’s reputation as being the ‘crossroads of the Highlands’, because it is where railways and roads meet. Gray notes that the signage ‘involved some sensitive interpretation’ with sandblasted granite stone blocks set into the hills, which required permission from Historic Scotland.

Inside the visitor centre interactive touch screens, displays, listening posts and educational children’s games aim to stimulate interest in the local history of the area.

An installation ‘trail’ featuring sheep sculptures is a nod to the area’s reputation as Europe’s largest sheep market.

Funding has come from Forward Scotland, Highland 2007, Scottish Natural Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, Forestry Commission and The Highland Council.

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