Tourism Committee agree proposals for the development of a network of Àirighean and related motorhome facilities
Members of the Tourism Committee met today (Wednesday 29 September 2021) and agreed to proposals for supporting the development of a network of Àirighean and related facilities that could assist in meeting the need for facilities specific to motorhome users across Highland.
An Àirigh is a basic low cost overnight stopover for motorhomes – widely available across Europe and traditionally known by the French name “Aire”.
Tourism Committee Chair, Cllr Gordon Adam said: “The Visitor Management Plan 2021 has made significant improvements to the range of facilities available to those visiting the Highlands, However demand for self-contained travel is rising and therefore we need to develop more facilities that meet demand whilst protecting the environment and Highland communities. This remains a priority in 2022. Àirighean - basic low cost overnight stopovers for motorhomes - and waste disposal facilities are safe designated areas for visitors that could also benefit the circular economy and reduce pressure points and unsuitable overnight parking.”
At the Council’s Economy and Infrastructure meeting on 1 September 2021, Members were updated on detailed proposals for an Economic Prosperity Fund. The fund is designed to support start-up businesses, growing businesses, and businesses seeking to adapt to new business conditions. In view of the clear commercial element related to developing sites for overnight stays, it is recommended that any applications for Economic Prosperity Funds from Àirigh developers be eligible for this funding. And if there is a strategic need in a geographic area for waste facilities and related services, it is recommended that additional grant support is considered. This would be available provided there was seen to be a wider public benefit and the facility being publicly accessible - including for those not staying overnight.
To assist businesses seeking to undertake development the Council produced guidance earlier this year on the development of Àirighean – Highland Motorhome stopover sites which has led to a network of Àirighean around Highland.
The Council has also been working with communities and a number of commercial campsites to ensure waste disposal options are available around the Highlands for those visiting in motorhomes. Work is also being undertaken in partnership with the Campervan and Motorhome Professional Association (CAMPA) who promote the range of these facilities through their website and other channels. campa- waste disposal (external link)