Falls of Foyers toilet and motorhome waste facilities project opens
Falls of Foyers new public toilets and motorhome waste facilities were officially opened on Friday 16 June 2023 with the Stratherrick and Foyers Community Council and Trust hosting the opening ceremony.
The event marks a significant milestone following an extensive infrastructure improvement project, supported by the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) and match funded by Stratherrick and Foyers Community Trust, SSE Renewables, The Highland Council and Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).
The Falls of Foyers project was part of dual location project that has also seen the creation of a motorhome waste unit in Fort Augustus delivered by the Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company.
The project demonstrates best practise and cohesive working partnership to improve local visitor infrastructure, mitigate issues and help people enjoy the outdoors in a responsible and socially conscious way.
Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair, Cllr Ken Gowans said: “Falls of Foyers attracts a growing number of visitors each year and as we are all encouraged to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of being outdoors it in turn requires infrastructure improvements to allow everyone accessible means to do so.
“The collective effort to improve the infrastructure and provide public conveniences at Falls of Foyers is testament to the Stratherrick and Foyers Community Trust, Community Council and all the funding partners involved in the project.”
Aird and Loch Ness Ward 12 Member, Cllr Chris Ballance added: “I was delighted to be part of Friday’s official opening and got the opportunity to see first-hand how these new public amenities will be welcomed by both the community and visitors alike, yet carefully constructed to be mindful of the impact on the environment.
“Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund and partnership match funding is vitally important as it enables communities to help make meaningful changes that are sustainable and environmentally conscious. Public toilets and motorhome waste facilities were a high priority for the community and will improve the visitor experience by providing amenities and much needed chemical waste disposal facilities to cater for the significant rise in motorhome and campervan users to the popular Loch Ness area.”
The Chair of the Stratherrick and Foyers Community Trust, Gareth Jones said: “The Community Trust is delighted that after many years of hard work, the opening day has finally arrived. The new facilities are a real asset, providing a high quality facility for tourists which aims to prevent anyone using the local countryside as an outdoor toilet. It is also testament to what can be achieved when volunteers from different organisations work collaboratively to achieve a common goal.”
The Chair of the Stratherrick and Foyers Community Council, Patrick Haston said: “This event signifies the culmination of many years of work by the community, supported by the Highland Council and sincere thanks must be given to the generosity of the Funders, the outstanding effort by all who have been involved, both past and present and by those who have designed and constructed this superb facility.”
Destination Development Director at VisitScotland, Chris Taylor, said: “This is a dual-location Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) project, along with a site in Fort Augustus, and it is great to see that the new toilet block - including waste disposal point for motorhomes - in the car park of the Falls of Foyers, is now completed, in time for the summer visitors.
“These facilities will help alleviate the pressure on the infrastructure of the local area, as well as the environment. The addition of the new toilet block will enhance the visitor experience at Foyers, particularly for those undertaking the Loch Ness 360° Trail.
“We all need to play our part in being responsible visitors and RTIF projects will help ensure our visitor destinations remain sustainable for years to come.”
The design and construction of the toilet facilities and waste disposal considered the natural surroundings whilst accommodating for the needs of the public.
The new toilet facilities offer:
- 4 new public toilets
- 1 Accessible toilet
- Baby changing facilities
- Chemical waste disposal
- Grey water waste disposal
Managed by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, the RTIF was created to improve the quality of the visitor experience in rural parts of Scotland that have faced pressure on their infrastructure due to this increase in visitor numbers.
It aims to reduce the impact of visitor numbers on local communities and facilities and create a more collaborative and sustainable approach to infrastructure provision and long-term maintenance of local facilities for the benefit of communities.