Case study: Lochaber Geopark – development of business opportunities

lochaber-geopark-darwins-restLochaber Geopark is a community-led Scottish charity run by a volunteer board of Directors, with the support of many other volunteers who staff our Visitor Centre in Fort William High Street. We employ three part-time staff to manage the Geopark and Visitor Centre (2 FTE posts). Lochaber Geopark also employs a full-time café manager at the ‘Darwin’s Rest’ café, craft shop and information centre in Roy Bridge, at the entrance to the Glen Roy National Nature Reserve and the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy. These developments were made possible by a three-year business development grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise in 2016. The business plan is for Lochaber Geopark to become self-sustaining, by selling our own brand of merchandise, including ‘Ben Nevis’ chocolates, books, maps and guides. We also sell high-quality craft goods from local suppliers, and books about local culture and Scottish geology. Our goods and information are also available at a growing network of ‘Lochaber Geopark Info Points’ throughout the area.