Atlantic Islands Centre


To build an Atlantic Islands Centre in Cullipool on the Isle of Luing in Argyll as an outstanding community hub and heritage, cultural, business and social centre for islanders and visitors, and to promote the Atlantic Islands of Argyll to a wide audience, encouraging more visitors to venture from the mainland and discover the magical world of our Atlantic islands.

The Project

From 2003 the aim was to build a centre in the Conservation Village of Cullipool to include heritage space, exhibition/events space, work spaces and a café-restaurant.  Other aspects of the original vision were completed some years ago, but the achievement of the centre has taken much longer.

The building part of the Project evolved over time into what is now called the Atlantic Islands Centre. The Project Development Phase was jointly funded by LEADER and Investing in Ideas (part of Big Lottery), which enabled plans for the centre to be developed and costed, and planning permission obtained.  After that, the task was to find funding for the actual build phase.

This was achieved in late 2012.  The Big Lottery Fund has awarded £754,910,  including revenue funding for a Project Manager and Centre Development Manager as well as a major part of the build costs.  The Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund has awarded a grant of £72,256 to make it energy efficient and low maintenance, and the £15,000 awarded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig will be for Gaelic signage and interpretation.  Finally, the European Regional Development Fund has awarded a grant of £360,391 to complete the funding of the construction part of the project, while Highlands and Islands Enterprise will support half the costs of a Project Development Manager with a £30,000 award.

The Atlantic Islands Centre finally opened its doors to the public on 25 May 2015.  For more information about the Centre and its facilities, please visit


The Centre provides:

  • reception and information area, with displays
  • a home for the Luing History Group in the gallery
  • a café for refreshments and meals for both the community and visitors
  • a drop-in community hub for all sorts of activities
  • a flexible-use exhibition, display, workshop, event, café overflow, restaurant evening space
  • workrooms, toilet facilities

Provision is also being made for emergency generators so that the Centre can act as a refuge at times of extended power outage, as happened in the winter of 2011.

The contract to build the Atlantic Islands Centre was awarded to McLeod Construction of Lochgilphead.  Construction began in August 2013, with an original timescale for opening the Centre for Easter 2014.  A rockfall in September halted work for 3 months, requiring some modifications to the layout of the site and the building, including the installation of mini-piles to secure the rock near the quarry edge and support the weight of the building.  This and other delays set back the planned opening until Spring 2015.

Current photographs may be found on the Atlantic Islands Centre Facebook page

The Project Development Manager was funded by Big Lottery and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.


The Trust is still fundraising to help to meet the costs of final equipping of the Centre, and any donations are welcome.  We are running a ‘Buy-a-Slate’ donation campaign in which for a donation of £5, a slate on the roof of the Centre will carry the name of the donor – donors may sign slates for themselves when they are on Luing!  So far our fundraising campaign has raised over £6000.  Donations may be made by sending cheques payable to Isle of Luing Community Trust – Projects account to: The Treasurer, Isle of Luing Community Trust, c/o Atlantic Islands Centre, Cullipool, Isle of Luing, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4TX.

If your donation is for the ‘Buy-a-Slate’ appeal, please tell us the name(s) you wish to be inscribed on the slate(s).