Scourie Rocks Project
Located on the North Coast 500, Scourie Rocks is our largest and most exciting project to date.
Together with the top experts in design, education and archaeology, we will create a world-class exhibition and learning centre.
Scourie Rocks will draw thousands of visitors to the North West Highlands. But even more so, it represents a huge investment in the future of this remote and fragile area.
The visitor centre will be in a prime site overlooking Scourie Bay – an area already regarded as significant in geological heritage.
Situated in one of the most remote places in the North West Highlands Geopark, Scourie has a population of merely 200 residents.
Endorsed by UNESCO, the geopark covers an area of around 2,000 square kilometres and features some of the oldest rocks in Europe – around 3,000 million years old. It also contains many notable geological features, such as the Moine Thrust Belt and Smoo Cave.
It is the cradle of geology.
Scourie Community Development Company identified the Doctor’s Park site, in the centre of Scourie, as an ideal location for a new geo centre. With the support of the Scottish Land Fund, we successfully purchased the land. in Planning permission was granted in October 2020.
Designed by an award-winning architect, the new centre will be a multi-purpose and sustainable building housing the internationally acclaimed Shelley Collection of rocks, minerals and fossils.
Described as “world-class”, “geologically important”, and “aesthetically beautiful”, Scourie Rocks will enable the Shelley Collection to be expertly preserved for generations to come.
In addition to the geological significance, the project will bring important economic and social benefits to the area, delivering much-needed regeneration to this North West corner of Sutherland.
Having consulted widely with the local community, stakeholders, and the design team – Scourie Rocks will provide accessible all year-round facilities for local people, tourists, and educationalists alike.
The new centre will include:
- gallery – housing the Shelley collection of rocks and minerals
- auditorium showing multimedia footage
- archive area with workspace for researchers
- an additional gallery for exhibitions, seminars, or to be utilized as a classroom space
- café – open all year-round
- outdoor seating area
- offices for use by businesses.
The new centre has the potential to become the focal point of the wider North West Highlands Geopark with ongoing learning opportunities for visiting students and local school pupils. Importantly, it will also be a place where people can meet socially, for refreshments or for community-organised events such as film clubs.