Highlands & Islands

Lochinver Fishermen's Mission re-opens as local venture

Lochinver Mission
Image caption The mission building has been re-launched as a community enterprise

A former fishermen's mission has been re-launched as a community enterprise providing employment to 10 people.

The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen closed its site in Lochinver in the north west Highlands in 2009.

A community project has now opened a cafe in the mission building and this will be followed by the opening of a 14-bed bunkhouse later in July.

An electronic archive and a marine visitor centre are also to be added to the facility.

The project has been welcomed by local community groups Assynt Community Association and the North Highlands Initiative.

Sandy Johnston, of Assynt Community Association, said: "The Assynt community and visitors had supported the mission over the years, and have in turn, been welcome recipients of some of the services supplied by the mission.

"But once the withdrawal was announced the community was determined to maintain and develop further some of these services for itself and to promote economic and civic activity centred around the mission building."

The fishermen's missions was forced to close due to a lack of use.

The centre at Lochinver followed Kinlochbervie in shutting its doors.

A downturn in the fishing industry was been blamed for falling usage.

Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen chief executive Capt Dan Conley said at the time the closures were a sign of the times.

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