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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Trust names 8m centre builder
Planned new centre for Culloden Battlefield
An artist's impression of the new centre
The construction firm Morrison has won the contract to build Culloden Battlefield's new 8m visitor centre.

The National Trust for Scotland said work on the site of the existing building should begin in June.

Project co-ordinator Alexander Bennett said he hoped the centre near Inverness would be open next summer.

The trust put the contract back out to tender after it was unable to proceed with the preferred bidder because of the level of the quoted project fees.

Mr Bennett said he was confident the state-of-the-art interpretation centre would be opened during the 2007 Highland Year of Culture.

He said: "We are delighted Morrison have won the contract and we are now finalising the contract with them.

"All being well we hope to be on site by June this year, on roughly a 50-week programme and that will take us through to the following late May, early June in good time to take part in the Highland 2007 Year of Culture."

Funding in place

The contract went back out to tender after the trust found it could not proceed with Glasgow building firm and civil engineers RJ McLeod.

Mr Bennett said most of the funding was in place for the new centre.

He said: "Of the 8m what we've got so far, 3.75m is from the Scottish Executive through VisitScotland as part of the Highland Year of Culture, 2.3m from the European Regional Development Fund and this week 350,000 from Inverness and East Highland Enterprise."

That left 1.65m which the trust hoped to raise from public donations, Mr Bennett said.

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