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HIE to hold information day on search for new operator at Cairngorm

08 October 2013

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is hosting an information day in Aviemore on Monday (14 October) which is open to anyone wishing to find out about its ambitions for the Cairngorm funicular railway and associated snowsports and visitor facilities.

HIE is currently in the midst of a detailed procurement exercise to try to identify a new operator to run the popular visitor attraction on its behalf.

HIE's ultimate aim is to attract new private investment to Cairngorm and secure the sustainable future of the business, which attracts thousands of visitors every year and helps underpin the local tourism sector.

The opportunity to run the facilities, which will remain publicly-owned, was promoted internationally through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) earlier this year.

Two bidders are now taking part in a process known as 'competitive dialogue' with HIE – Natural Retreats UK Ltd, and Serco Leisure Operating Ltd.  Neither will be able to take part in the information day, however, as procurement it still ongoing.

Charlotte Wright, HIE's Director of Business and Sector Development, said:

"Given the high level of local interest in this project, and the importance of snowsports and the funicular to the area, we have decided to hold a public information day in Aviemore.

"This will give interested local residents, business people and others a chance to find out more about HIE's procurement process and what we are seeking to achieve through trying to attract a new operator."

The information day, at the Cairngorm Hotel in Aviemore on Monday 14 October, will comprise an afternoon drop-in session from 2.00pm to 6.00pm, and an evening meeting which starts at 7.30pm (doors open at 7.00pm).

Alex Paterson, HIE Chief Executive, and Grenville Johnston, Chairman of present operator CairnGorm Mountain Ltd, will co-chair the evening meeting.

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michael laing 17/10/2013

does this mean we loss Colin and co!!!!!! why fix something that's not broken!!having skied in the cairngorms for 30yrs many of those a season ticket holder I have admired the great progress over the years. will this lead to a private company looking to get a profit margin over the top of current operating costs.

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