Council welcomes £1.4m funding from the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF)
The Highland Council is delighted that six Highland projects have been successful in attracting £1.4m of funding from the £2.8m available in the second round of the Scottish Government’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF).
Two further projects by The Highland Council and a community led project by the Helmsdale Development Trust have also been placed on a reserve list which may receive a grant award subject to any underspend at a national level.
Some of the new RTIF funding will be used by The Highland Council to construct a Car Park Extension and Motorhome Facilities in Portree to help meet the needs of growing visitor numbers. This project will receive a significant £300,000 from RTIF and a further £300,000 injection from the Council.
The Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust has secured £273,632 towards new visitor toilet facilities and improvements to the current water and electricity for the Islands Hub Building Expansion, An Laimhrig.
A community project led by the Cromarty Community Development Trust in partnership with Nigg Community Council has also secured £300,000 of funding towards designated motorhome parking facilities and toilets in Cromarty and upgrades to the current Ferry Slipways on both sides of the Firth, which will help secure the future of the UK’s only remaining East Coast car ferry.
Another community project in Lochaber will see The Nevis Partnership develop parking, signage, recreation, and toilet facilities in the beautiful landscape of Glen Nevis, on the doorstep of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
The Old Man of Storr will see additional investment with £184,506 going towards footpath improvements at the iconic site to enhance visitor access while protecting iconic landscapes and an internationally important habitat.
Glenfinnan Car Park – successful in round one, has also secured further funding to complete the final piece in the development at the Glenfinnan Viaduct. The sum of £53,704 will go towards the installation of a new footbridge over the River Finnan and path improvements to the viewpoint famous for its steam-train featured in the popular Harry Potter films.
Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson welcomed the funding, saying: “This is yet another great success story for Highland with a significant £1.4million of funding going towards a great range of projects across the region. With the Highland and Islands being recognised in Lonely Planet’s top ten places to visit and places like the Isle of Skye, Glencoe and Loch Ness also in the top ten as the most Instagrammed road trip destinations in Europe, it is important that we prepare our infrastructure and services to meet the expectations of our growing number of tourists.
“Council staff and community groups have worked very hard to get the projects to this point in the funding process and I would like to credit them for all their hard work in pulling these applications together and wish them well in progressing identified projects.”
This allocation follows a positive first round where six projects submitted by The Highland Council were successful with a combined grant offer of £1.1m and a further application submitted by the Cairngorms National Park Authority was also awarded £227k.