Aquarium opens in Loch Lomond

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A new public aquarium opened today on the shores of Loch Lomond in Balloch, Scotland.

Loch Lomond Aquarium is housed in Drumkinnon Tower at Loch Lomond Shores and is the first public aquarium to be opened in Scotland for over 10 years.

The aquarium is run by Merlin Entertainments, owners of the Sea Life centre chain and other attractions such as Legoland and the London Dungeons.

The tower has just undergone a 3.8 million refit to allow the aquarium to be installed.

The aquarium houses a range of Scotland's indigenous marine and freshwater fishes and has "a strong emphasis on environmental interpretation".

Merlin's business development manager, Mike Stephenson said: "Loch Lomond's outstanding natural environment offered us a fantastic opportunity for developing the kind of educationally inspiring visitor attraction on which Merlin has built its commercial success.

"We look forward to welcoming our first visitors to the Loch Lomond Aquarium, where they can see and learn about Scotland's aquatic creatures."

Dave Anderson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire, said: "Loch Lomond Shores has established itself as a successful visitor destination, attracting over 1 million visitors each year. The new Loch Lomond Aquarium is intended to become a focal attraction that will encourage domestic and overseas visitors to the area, helping to create wealth and prosperity for our local area and the wider metropolitan and national economies.

"Tourism is a key industry for Scotland and we are working hard to create opportunities for businesses to capitalise on the opportunities that attractions like the Loch Lomond Aquarium can offer."