Public to get a say on mountain destination plans

Render Camera View 3

THE operator of CairnGorm Mountain has unveiled ambitious plans to enhance facilities and transform the site into a year-round destination.

Natural Retreats is holding consultation events to allow local people and interested parties to view the proposals, hear from members of the project team and architects Keppie Design and have their say on the plans.

The operator aims to create a world class mountain destination by enhancing the visitor facilities and broadening the activities on offer.

The project, which has an estimated cost in the region of £10m-15m, will include a replacement day lodge building with food and beverage outlets, shops, ski and bike hire, a crèche, adventure zone, gym, offices and conference and event space.

There would also be staff bunkhouse accommodation which would allow the facilities to open earlier and close later and a mountain rescue and medical centre.

An artificial ski slope, mountain biking, increased snow making facilities, improvements to the ski uplift, ski slopes and runs and improvements to car parking and landscaping also form part of the proposals.

Natural Retreats say they plan to use local firms wherever possible to carry out the work, and source Scottish materials for the construction of the new building.

They have already submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) for the plans and met with Highland Council and the Cairngorm National Park to discuss the proposals ahead of submitting a formal planning application for the project.

Adam Gough, Head of Technical Services at Natural Retreats said, “We want to create a world class facility that matches the stunning setting and increases the long term economic benefit to the local communities in the Badenoch and Strathspey area. Current activities on the mountain are heavily weather-dependent and the buildings are no longer fit for purpose. This project will address both of these problems and transform CairnGorm into a four-season mountain destination.

“We are now keen to hear the views and feedback on our plans from as many tourists, local people and businesses as possible at these consultation events.”