All-abilities access improvements at Glen Nevis Visitor Centre
The Highland Council has submitted a planning application for a new all-abilities crossing over the River Nevis at the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre. The crossing, which is funded by The Highland Council (£135,000) and Heritage Lottery (£121,000), will replace the existing bridge and is the first phase of a wider £500,000 Nevis Landscape Partnership project which will also provide an all-abilities riverside walk from the Visitor Centre.
Dingwall-based consulting engineers, Wallace Stone, have been working with Highland Council and other stakeholders to develop designs for a new bridge which will replace the existing structure, which is in poor condition. The new bridge will be located closer to the visitor centre, at which essential safety information is provided for those intending to tackle the Ben. It will have an increased carrying capacity and be capable of accommodating the high visitor numbers experienced at this popular site.
The Highland Council owns Glen Nevis Visitor Centre, which receives around 65,000 visitors per annum, with numbers climbing Ben Nevis itself at around 120,000 per annum. In addition to investment in the bridge, The Highland Council is also contributing £35,000 to refurbishment of the visitor centre which will provide new and informative displays including vital mountain safety information for those venturing to the summit of Ben Nevis. This refurbishment will be undertaken by HighLife Highland which manages the centre and work is expected to be undertaken next year.
Commenting on the proposals, Councillor Audrey Sinclair, Chair of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: “The Council recognises that Ben Nevis is a key driver of the Lochaber economy and that a high quality visitor experience is critical to the success of both the local and wider tourist industry. The works proposed in Glen Nevis not only contribute to the safety and enjoyment of those taking access to the high hills, but will also now enable a far wider range of visitors to enjoy the scenery and splendour of the glen. The Nevis Landscape Partnership is a good example of organisations working together to deliver far more than each could have achieved in isolation.”
Proposals for the bridge are currently on display in the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre.