The MSP whose constituency includes Urquhart Castle has said she hopes the Glenurquhart community’s ambitions for a buyout of the visitor centre will inspire other Highland communities to consider asset buyouts.
Kate Forbes MSP said that communities across the region “had never been so powerful on paper as they are today” because of the Scottish Government’s legislation on community empowerment.
Ms Forbes, whose Highland constituency includes Loch Ness and the Great Glen, met with representatives of Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association earlier this year when their buyout plans were in their infancy.
The community is holding a meeting next week to gauge public opinion about their proposals for what is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions.
Kate Forbes MSP said: “Communities in the Highlands have never been so powerful on paper as they are today with much stronger legislation on community empowerment and land buy-outs.
“Backed up by the £10 million land fund, the only limits to a community who want to benefit from local land and buildings is their own ambition and ability to figure out the process.
“Glenurquhart has demonstrated this ambition repeatedly, with their own care home and other local initiatives.
“I met with representatives from the community early on and was inspired by their ambition for the area.
“There is obviously a process to follow, but Glenurquhart has shown time and again that they see the business sense in local people managing local assets.
“I hope that they inspire other communities to look at the challenges they face, from care for the elderly to tourism infrastructure, and work together to find the solutions.”