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March 9, 2016

Vying for visitors

Given the value of tourism to Scotland’s economy, it’s no surprise to discover just how many communities (30% of DTAS’ membership) are involved in tourism related business. Especially in rural Scotland, where the fragility of the local economy is often the main cause of concern, tourism can present a range of interesting possibilities. Two communities, one on Skye and one in Sutherland, have just received over £1m in Lottery funding each to take forward their plans to bring more tourists (and their cash) to their areas. 

Big Lottery

The Falls of Shin Community Project received a huge boost today when Big Lottery Fund Scotland  announced it is awarding the scheme more than £1 million in funding.

They are to give the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust £1,000,567 to help fund the new Falls of Shin Visitor Centre.

A spokesman for the Big Lottery Fund Scotland said: “With a focus on regenerating the local economy, today’s award will mean the dispersed community will benefit from a new community resource and visitor centre.”

 The Falls of Shin Community Project will replace the previous visitor centre destroyed by fire in May 2013, located between Lairg and Bonar Bridge. The sustainable new building will include a café, shop, toilets, information panels and an outdoor plaza for community events.

Pete Campbell, chairman of Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, said: “It’s great that the Big Lottery Fund acknowledged the social and economic benefits that the creation of the new community project will bring to the area.

“The development of a modern facility, with activities for all ages of visitors, is essential to the regeneration of the area and will provide important employment and training opportunities. Not only will the communities around the Kyle of Sutherland rejoice at the news of the award but that joy will be felt across the Highlands and further afield.”


A new camp site is to be developed in south Skye – after lottery funds of over £1.1 million were secured this week by the Broadford and Strath Community Company.

The Big Lottery Fund Scotland award of £1,106,019 will create a new 50 pitch campsite in a community woodland in Broadford purchased in 2011. It is hoped the project will provide a busy camping facility and help stimulate the local economy by attracting more tourists to the area.

Alistair McPherson, Chairman of Broadford and Strath Community Company, said: “We receive this good news with a mixture of delight and disbelief. We have been working towards developing this much needed facility and producing an income stream to support community projects for many years. We have had several setbacks along the way, but this injection of capital from the Big Lottery Fund means that we can at last make things happen for the good of the whole community.

“Local people will benefit from the campsite in so many different ways – we’re creating and supporting jobs, there will be opportunities for local businesses with more tourists in the area, and the profit from the campsite will be used to support community groups.”

The Big Lottery Fund Scotland has announced over £2.6 million in funding to three Highland community based projects.