Income generation projects proposed as part of 3-year budget.

Around £15.8m of income generation could be realised over the next 3 years if ambitious budget proposals are agreed at Highland Council’s budget setting meeting on 29 February.

Senior Strategic Chair Ken Gowans said: “Our budget saving proposals of £54m over three years are underpinned by the need to invest in change to deliver recurring and sustainable cost reduction, redesign and increased income generation.

“It is clear from our public engagement that communities support the council maximising potential from green energy and pursuing opportunities to capitalise on the booming tourism economy and improve tourism facilities and infrastructure associated with those demands.”

The public and staff response to the budget engagement included suggestions for increasing more income through tourist initiatives, charging campervans, introduction of the visitor levy and investment in renewable energy projects.

Further tourist sites such as The Storr could be established, offering exciting new tourist facilities in other locations around the Highlands, resolving local issues and generating income for the council and local communities through improved parking and tourist facilities as well as retail opportunities.

A range of proposals include increasing fees and charges such as building warrants, garden and business waste, collection charges and parking fees.

A voluntary passport scheme for motorhomes proposes raising income to enhance facilities and infrastructure, while providing possible benefits to motorhomes as well as improved services.

Many of the income generation proposals would also see a small number of employment opportunities in rural areas.

A battery storage, expanding the use of solar pv on our assets, commercial scale generation of solar energy and roll out of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging are some of the proposals for generating income and also reducing our energy usage costs and CO2 emissions.

£32.3m of Reserves is proposed to support and invest in change and redesign, to deliver cost improvements and redesign over the three year period.

The budget proposals will be considered by Members on 29 February.

23 Feb 2024