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£300k snow sports investment will support jobs in Moray

Published: 30/10/2020

A project by the Lecht Ski Centre in Moray that will help support recovery in the tourism sector has secured up to £300,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Photos by Steven McKenna (top) and Pieter Du Pon of LSC

The Lecht is in a rural mountainous area near the village of Tomintoul. The funding will support the centre’s purchase of advanced snow-making equipment, including snow cannons and piste machine, to enhance conditions for winter sports this coming season.

The equipment will complement existing snow-making capacity at the Lecht, thereby attracting more visitors and safeguarding the centre’s 15.5 seasonal jobs.

The continued uncertainty over travelling to Europe this winter season is expected to heighten interest in skiing breaks at home.

With this investment, combined with the guaranteed snow from the snow factory, LSC should be able to operate more slopes for its opening on 18 December and offer enhanced skiing and boarding over the three key holiday periods of Christmas, February half-term and Easter.

In 2018, HIE supported ski centres in the region to buy snow making equipment, including an award of £208,000 for LSC for the purchase and installation of Snow Factory equipment and energy efficiency upgrades to existing lifts and tows. 

This has enabled LSC to guarantee snow for its nursery slopes, regardless of the natural snow conditions.  The technology has proved extremely valuable when natural snow conditions have been poor and has given LSC the confidence to make further investment.

Angie Smith, senior business development account manager with HIE n Moray, said:

“The Lecht is a key part of Moray’s winter tourism offering. This project will enable the business to tap into the winter staycation market and support valuable employment in a rural area where they have greater proportional impact. It will also bring benefits to the local economy through more and longer visits and increased visitor spend.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer support and wish all Scotland’s ski centres a successful winter season.”

Pieter du Pon, managing director of the Lecht Ski Centre, said:

“We are very grateful to the ongoing support we have received in recent years from HIE and in particular for this major project. We still have a lot of work to do, aiming to crowd-fund the balance of the project. Tomorrow, 31 October, we are launching a massive crowd-funding push to raise the £80,000 required and are offering rewards for individuals and businesses who support us in this way.”

“Full details will appear on the website"

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