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Lift off for Scottish ski centres

Press Release   •   Feb 03, 2015 09:53 GMT

Scotland ski centres are to benefit from over £5.5 million to upgrade their existing infrastructure.

 Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise are providing 75 per cent of the funding with the remainder coming from the ski centres and will be used to replace and improve chair lifts and upgrade tow lifts.

Glenshee and Glencoe will be replacing existing chair lifts which will cost £2.474 million and £1.89 million respectively. The Lecht and Nevis Range will spend £456K and £707K on upgrades to their current tow lifts. Cairngorm Mountain Ltd has already upgraded its infrastructure with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Enterprise and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing, who made the announcement on a visit to Glenshee Ski Centre said:

“The snowsports sector is very important for Scotland’s rural economy and is worth an estimated £30 million per year, supporting over 600 jobs.

“Our ski centres bring many tourists to Scotland and this considerable investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, who have worked together with the centres to identify their needs, will provide the necessary support to ensure the sector’s long term viability.

“The outdoors is the number one reason why people visit Scotland and for every £1 spent on the hills an additional £4 is spent in the surrounding areas which provide vital income in many rural areas. The most recent full ski season in Scotland saw over 235,000 skier days recorded.”

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is investing £2.273 million; £342,000 to support the upgrade of ageing assets at the Lecht in the Eastern Cairngorms, £1.4 million for Glencoe and £531,000 for Nevis Range.

Charlotte Wright, HIE business and sector development director, said: “The ski and snow sports sector is hugely important to the Highland and Scottish economy. The sector has tremendous potential for further growth and the companies operating these centres have the ambition to pursue that potential. Our role is to help them do that for the benefit of the region’s and the country’s economy. The investment will allow the businesses to attract more visitors and offer a better experience with enhanced facilities.”

Scottish Enterprise is providing a £1.86 million grant to upgrade ski tow facilities at Glenshee in Aberdeenshire.

Mark McMullen, team leader from Scottish Enterprise said: “The snowsports sector is not only important to Scotland’s rural economy but plays directly into Scotland’s tourism strategy which boasts significant economic growth potential from activity and adventure tourism. We are pleased to be supporting this project at Glenshee as it will help further develop Scotland’s snowsports experience by opening up higher altitude snowfields and will undoubtedly help retain domestic skiers on Scotland’s slopes whilst hopefully encouraging more international snowsport enthusiasts to sample what Scotland has to offer.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “Our ski centres are a huge draw to local residents, snowsport enthusiasts from around Scotland and also from further afield. This £4m investment is wonderful news and we will continue to not only tell, but show the world why Scotland is a great destination for snowsport enthusiasts.

“It’s not just about the money spent on ski passes, ski hire and tuition, people come for the snow but stay for the restaurants and accommodation, which all provides a boost to Scotland’s visitor economy. This investment will go a long way to reducing seasonality in rural areas and ensuring the economic benefits of snowsports are felt in Scotland for many years to come.” 

Notes to Editors

For further information, contact: 

Calum Macfarlane
Media Relations Manager
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Mob: 07900 047001

Notes to Editors

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