Tourism sites in Scotland set for share of £3m infrastructure upgrade fund

Scottish Parliament

THIRTEEN tourist sites across Scotland are to receive a share of over £3 million in funding for infrastructure upgrades.

The projects will be managed by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, with the funding coming from the rural tourism infrastructure fund (RTIF).

The work will look to reduce the impact of visitor numbers on local communities and facilities and create a more collaborative and sustainable approach to infrastructure provision and maintenance of local facilities for the benefit of communities.

The fund received 36 applications for the funding in total. Projects set to receive the funding include:

  • £375,000 for the Trossachs Visitor Management Project, to include additional motorhome, car parking and cyclist provision at Trossachs Pier, Ben A’an and Stronachlachar; provision of new toilet facilities at Trossachs Pier and improved signage and orientation provision to manage visitors through the Trossachs.
  • £375,000 towards Fife outdoor tourism infrastructure programme – a partnership project between Fife Council and Fife Countryside Trust, to provide a network of parking, toilets, interpretative and renewable energy points for EV and EB charging serving the Fife coastal path, the Pilgrims Way and Fife 191 driving route.
  • £375,000 to address increasing visitor pressures in Glencoe and Glen Etive through provision of an overarching plan for an improved visitor infrastructure and management routes along the A82. The project will improve car parking provision, paths and address visitor management issues.
  • £201,925 towards St Cyrus National Nature Reserve (NNR) parking and toilet improvements- a partnership project between Aberdeenshire Council and NatureScot to upgrade and expand the car parking at St Cyrus NNR to provide an additional 40 parking spaces for cars and motorhomes. The project includes refurbishment of the toilets to include a changing places standard toilet, and provision of additional cycling racks, EV charge points and a chemical disposal point.

Tourism secretary Fergus Ewing said, “While the tourism industry is currently halted due to the national lockdown and the need to keep suppressing coronavirus, it’s essential we continue supporting our tourism businesses, especially in rural and remote areas, so they are in the best position possible for welcoming visitors again when conditions allow.

“The rural tourism and infrastructure fund is key to supporting critical tourism projects in our more remote areas. 13 projects will get support in this latest round of funding, improving visitor facilities and enhancing the visitor experience.”

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, added, “I am delighted to announce these 13 projects which have been recommended for approval for RTIF funding. It is so important that we support work that aims to improve visitor facilities and the visitor experience, particularly when the tourism, hospitality and events industries remain closed under the current restrictions.

“We all need to play our part in being responsible visitors and improvement works like these are crucial to ensuring our visitor destinations remain sustainable for years to come. This funding will help local communities improve their facilities, as well as enhancing the visitor experience both for now and in the future when conditions are right and it is safe to do so.

“Tourism is a force for good and if managed responsibly, sustains communities in every corner of Scotland, creates jobs, tackles depopulation and improves the wellbeing of everyone who experiences it. We believe this fund is helping to ensure that the tourism infrastructure for visitors meets current and future demand.”