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Community organisations in Kilchoan, Knoydart, Glenfinnan and Skye are among 14 community-led tourism venues to have secured a slice of the more than £440,000 allocated for capital projects by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The HIE Community-Led Tourism Infrastructure Fund is supporting the organisations to deliver projects including building adaptations, improving outdoor visitor facilities, e-bike projects and, in Knoydart, the development of accommodation pods to help social distancing for visiting workers and visitors.
Attractions carrying out work include:
Knoydart Foundation – £84,214 for two pods to allow distancing for visiting workers and tourists;
Broadford and Strath Community Company – £48,688 for toilets in Broadford and Elgol including campervan disposal;
Glenfinnan Community Facilities SCIO – £22,500 for ticket machines, refuse/recycling facilities, picnic benches, welfare unit at new carpark. Upgrade old phone booth to use for tourist information, including sanitisation station. Signs to direct and inform tourists;
Isle of Skye Ferry CIC – £9,600 for Covid-friendly building at ferry;
Kinlochleven Community Trust – £25,000 for 10 E-bikes, signs, Covid-friendly community buildings;
Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust – £14,523 for community-owned toilets, retro fit doors to hands free, fixed hand sanitiser, signs and contactless payment for toilets, showers and laundry;
Minginish Community Hall Association – £20,000 for Fairy Pools picnic furniture, walkways/paths within Fairy Pools carpark;
Morvern Community Development Company – £25,000 for 10 E-bikes and related infrastructure;
Portree and Braes Community Trust – £8,982 for outdoor event space to counter Covid restrictions;
West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company – £40,000 for visitors’ moorings and jetty upgrade to allow COVID safe marine tourism.
Alastair Nicolson, HIE’s area manager for Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross, said: ‘Community organisations deliver some fantastic tourism attractions and services and we’re delighted to have been able to support these capital investments.
‘Upgrading facilities and introducing post-Covid measures will help build confidence and ensure our communities can safely welcome back staff and visitors.’
Davie Ferguson, chairman of the West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company which secured £40,000 towards the refurbishment of the Kilchoan Jetty, added: ‘For a remote coastal community like ours, the jetty is a key asset for marine tourism as well as having a historic role in the development of the village during the last century.
‘The jetty had suffered storm damage over the years and was not stable or safe and so it was a key project for the West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company, especially as the region begins to welcome back visitors.
‘The development company is grateful for the financial support received from the Community-Led Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which has allowed us to refurbish the jetty and replace the visitor moorings in the bay so we can offer a much enhanced experience to visitors either arriving by sea or using the jetty as part of their holiday for kayaking and other activities.’
The Knoydart Foundation has accessed £84,000 to help build three self-contained chalets. These are being used as safe accommodation for people working on Knoydart and/or visitor accommodation.
Craig Dunn, Operations Manager at the Foundation, commented: ‘This development helps us adapt our offering, providing flexibility and the ability to respond to the needs of visitors and locals.’
The Kilchoan jetty is one of the projects to benefit.
NO F24 Kilchoan jetty scenic
Extra pics: NO F24 Knoydart chalet
NO F24 Skye Ferry
No f24 Glenfinnan car park