A proposed dolphin-watching centre in Aberdeen has received a major funding boost and could open next spring.
Greyhope Bay hopes to create an environmentally-friendly heritage and science centre to breathe new life into the Torry Battery site.
The Dolphins at the Battery facility will be built on a spot where locals and visitors often stand to watch the impressive marine mammals feeding in the harbour area.
Greyhope Bay has now received an impressive £42,000 of donations from three investors, including CNOOC International and Dragados UK, in only a matter of weeks.
Dr Fiona McIntyre, managing director of Greyhope Bay, said: “Dolphins at the Battery is a new wildlife experience that has never been seen before in the north-east.
“We are entirely community led and would love to invite more local people to support this exciting project that has the long-term environmental protection and sustainability of our wildlife at its heart.
“We’ve had an incredible response to our fundraising so far, and just £150,000 more will allow us to open in spring 2020.”
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The tourism group has now invited local residents, businesses and community groups to get involved by joining a membership scheme to help raise vital funds for the new visitor attraction.
Several membership packages are available – the Greyhope Admiral will give members a permament status in the project and joining up as a Greyhope Skipper will involve members being given a challenge to raise £500 with their own fundraising events.
And Greyhope Crew packages are available for £30 for people joining with little free time to spare with the added bonus of the option of free coffees.
The facility will bring a glass-fronted centre, cafe, outdoor walkways, seating, decking, a wildlife sightings board and live marine mammal acoustic soundings to the public.
There will also be marine science exhibits, artistic landscape interventions, a schools programme, festivals, guided tours and food markets.
A new website has now been launched to show how the project is progressing.
To find out more or to become a member go to http://bit.ly/2Z4C69Y.