Kate Forbes MSP has welcomed a fresh round of Scottish Government funding from its Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund which will help establish a new 103-berth car park near the iconic Glenfinnan viaduct, which features in the Harry Potter film series.
In addition to almost £270,000 for the Glenfinnan project by the A830, £299,460 will be given to help create better toilet and car parking facilities at Traigh near the Morar Sands in the Arisaig area, whilst bids for the Old Man of Storr (£300,000) and Blabheinn (£65,879) on Skye were also successful.
Kate Forbes MSP said it was terrific news, and would help alleviate pressures in the Highland region borne from growing tourism numbers.
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said: “This is exceptionally good news for Glenfinnan. In February this year, I met with a small group of local residents to discuss how we could alleviate congestion and slow down the traffic. Months later, the community group applied for funding and fine-tuned their plans for a car park.
“It gives me great pleasure to see how much progress has been made in Glenfinnan. Not only are Transport Scotland engaging on the speed limit, but we also have good news on the car park.
“This is a turning-point for Glenfinnan. Thousands flock to the site to see the Hogwarts Express pass over the viaduct, as well as to visit the monument which is so steeped in history. Glenfinnan is where history meets make-believe, and now tourists can enjoy both in a safer environment.
“The Tourism Infrastructure Fund has made a big difference to the Highlands. It is why I called for a fund which would enable communities to apply for funding directly and resolve some of the challenges of tourism in their areas. It has been a great success.”
Ms Forbes added regarding funding for Traigh: “This funding will be a sea change for Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig. After numerous meetings with local community representatives, I am absolutely delighted that they’ve secured funding for new toilets.
“This is tremendously good news for local people who have put in a lot of time and effort make this happen. I’ve met with them multiple times to discuss their plans, and this funding will be a turning-point locally.
“Thousands of people visit Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig every year and the community group were understandably frustrated by the lack of facilities for visitors. Their proposals for new toilets ensure they are functional as well as sustainable.”