Forestry Commission Scotland

From what it was like a year ago, it’s been a complete transformation and everybody is thrilled to bits with it.”

Susan Nash | Project Manager, Forestry Commission Scotland

Apprenticeship weeks
Project spend kept in the local community
Waste diverted from landfill

Transforming two Forestry Commission Scotland visitor centres to boost visitor numbers and increase revenue.

Steady income created through lease of management and maintenance and new parking facilities

Forestry Commission Scotland's (FCS) key role is to manage Scotland's National Forest Estate whilst maintaining sustainability and improving it for future generations. Their visitor centres provide recreational areas for local communities, draw in tourists and create jobs. They are also places where people can learn about Scotland's forests and the importance of conservation.

As part of the build, it was imperative that the visitor centres contributed to meeting the aspirations of the FCS strategic plan. Scape’s Frameworks encouraged a collaborative approach throughout the design and construction of the centre, which involved working closely with the client throughout planning and building to ensure the refurbishments were sustainable, accessible and visitor friendly.

The refurbishment work has transformed both The Lodge and Queen’s View Visitor Centre into award-winning visitor attractions, which will draw in new tourism and provide a focal point for the local community, whilst achieving the aspirations set out in FCS’ Strategic Plan.

Both locations have been enthusiastically received by FCS and the general public. The modernised facilities include cafes, toilets and gift shops – providing all of the services needed for a great day out.

The sustainable buildings are modern and staff are now able to focus on creating a great visitor experience rather than maintenance. The Lodge has even been awarded a five star rating from Visit Scotland.

The Lodge was costing a lot money in maintenance while the shop and cafe were losing money. Since the refurbishment we now lease the entire management and maintenance of the building including the shop and cafe so they are providing us with a steady stream of income. Most importantly our visitors have welcomed the new look and improved offer. The facility was awarded a 5 Star visitor attraction grading which we are delighted about and work closely with staff, operators and volunteers to ensure we continue to maintain a quality visitor experience.

Liz Walker
Communities, Recreation and Tourism Manager at Forestry Commission Scotland

The extended time taken in pre-construction, particularly during the feasibility and concept design stages in defining the client’s requirements, proved invaluable when ensuring the project delivery achieved the client’s objectives. We had a Contractor led design team who went that extra mile to ensure the correct balance was achieved between available budget and client aspirations.

Euan Matheson
Head of Building Consultancy Scotland at Pick Everard

Both The Lodge and Queen’s View are one-offs, but they have provided the client with baselines for any future visitor attractions that may be produced in the future. Minor works that were carried out during The Lodge were the creation of a wildlife hide and standardised toilet blocks. Two of the toilet modules have been installed in Forestry Commission sites at Ardentinney and Slattadale. The wildlife hide will be replicated across other Forestry Commission sites in the future.

Andy Tunaley
Commercial Manager at Robertson Scotland

Delivered by






The Lodge - feasibility and planning

November 2011 to September 2012 (43 weeks)

The Lodge - construction

Completed on 19th August 2013 (38 weeks)

Visitor Centre - feasibility and planning

February 2013 to September 2013 (34 weeks)

Visitor Centre - construction

Completed on 27th May 2014 (34 weeks)

Visit Scotland rating achieved

5 Star - The Lodge

Gold Award for Green Tourism

David Marshall Lodge

Silver Award for Green Tourism

Queen's View Visitor Centre

Local labour employed within 40 miles


Client satisfaction - defects


Client satisfaction - service


Client satisfaction - product


Client satisfaction - health and safety


Project gallery

Learn more

About our Major Works Scotland framework

Major Works Scotland is part of the National Construction framework is designed to deliver construction projects between £2m and £20m.

Read more about our frameworks

Access our Frameworks

Request an Access Agreement

The Access Agreement allows you to use any of our current or future frameworks, it only needs to be signed once and it carries no cost.

Learn more

Back to top