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Our Subsea Test Site

The ideal location for convenient and cost-effective sea trials

Established in the early 1970s by the British Government as a subsea testing and trials facility, and then later, thanks to the North Sea oil boom, as a commercial diving school, The Underwater Centre provides the ideal location for convenient and cost effective subsea testing and trials.

Sheltered, open-water site accessible by road

Our facilities are located on the shores of Loch Linnhe, a sheltered sea loch in the west Highlands of Scotland, about two hours drive north of Glasgow.  The loch has many features which mean that the testing environment is close to what you would find offshore, but without the expense and inherent problems that testing offshore entail.  In addition, its sheltered location allows subsea testing and trials to take place almost all year round.

Range of sea conditions

The nearby Corran and Loch Eil Narrows provide fast tidal flows, typically between 5 and 8 knots, or there is more benign current flow available at our Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil seabed areas.

The sea-loch bed hosts numerous wrecks and structures – several sunk army vehicles, a concrete inspection block and an oil platform frame replicate. These features are at depths of around 20m just off our pier. The loch drops to depths of 100m and 150m within around a mile and a half of the pier, and are easily accessible using any of our support vessels.  The geology of the seabed itself is varied, so if your subsea trial requires it, we will be able to find a location that meets your specific needs.

Amenities close-by

Our facilities are all in one location on the shore of the loch, which means your team won’t have their day taken up with travel time.  In addition, the amenities of Fort William are only a few minutes walk from the Centre.

Find out more about Subsea Trials

You can email Steve Ham, Commercial Director, on fortwilliam@theunderwatercentre.com or call +44 1397 703 786

Subsea Trials Enquiry

To find out more, or to discuss your specific trials needs, please fill out the form below and we will contact you directly.