Glenfinnan Viaduct scenic view

West coast communities invest in safe re-opening for visitors

Published: 07/06/2021

Investment in community-led tourism facilities.

Glenfinnan Viaduct scenic view

Community organisations on Highland’s West Coast are supporting the safe return of visitors to the region by upgrading a range of local tourism facilities.

Fourteen community-led tourism venues stretching from Gairloch in Wester Ross to Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, secured over £440,000 for capital projects from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The HIE Community-Led Tourism Infrastructure Fund is supporting the organisations to deliver a range of projects including building adaptations, improving outdoor visitor facilities, e-bike projects, and in Knoydart the development of accommodation pods to help social distancing for visiting workers and visitors.

Attractions carrying out work include: The Gale Centre, Fairy Pools, Kilchoan jetty, Glenfinnan, Knoydart, and the Isle of Skye Ferry. (See full list below). Meet some of the projects in our feature piece here

Alastair Nicolson, HIE’s area manager for Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross, commented: “Community organisations deliver some fantastic tourism attractions and services locally, and we’re delighted to have been able to support these capital investments. Upgrading facilities and introducing post-Covid measures will help build confidence and ensure our communities can safely welcome back both staff and visitors.”

Davie Ferguson is Chair of the West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company which secured £40,000 towards the refurbishment of the Kilchoan Jetty. He commented:

“For a remote coastal community like ours, the jetty is a key asset for marine tourism as well as having a historic role in the development of the village during the last century. The jetty had suffered storm damage over the years and was not stable or safe and so it was a key project for the West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company, especially as the region begins to welcome back visitors.

“The Development Company is very grateful for the financial support received from the Community Led Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which has allowed us to refurbish the jetty and replace the visitor moorings in the bay so we can offer a much enhanced experience to visitors either arriving by sea or using the jetty as part of their holiday for kayaking and other activities.”

The Knoydart Foundation has accessed £84,000 to help them build 3 self-contained chalets. These are being used as safe accommodation for people working on Knoydart and/or visitor accommodation according to availability. Craig Dunn, Operations Manager at the Foundation, commented: “This development helps us adapt our offering, providing flexibility and the ability to respond to the needs of visitors and locals alike.”

Knoydart Foundation


Two pods to facilitate distancing for both visiting workers and tourists.

Applecross Community Company


Community toilets touch free, filling station safety, prefab.

Broadford & Strath Community Company


Toilets in Broadford and Elgol including campervan disposal.

Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum


Reconfiguring and adapting kitchen area of Gale centre kitchen.

Glenfinnan Community Facilities SCIO


Ticket machines, refuse/recycling facilities, picnic benches, welfare unit at new carpark. Upgrade old phone booth to use for tourist information, including sanitisation station. Signage to direct and inform tourists.

Isle of Skye Ferry CIC


Covid friendly building at ferry.

Kinlochleven Community Trust


10 E-bikes, signage, Covid friendly community buildings.

Kyle & Lochalsh Community Trust


Community owned toilets, retro fit doors to hands free, fixed hand sanitiser, signage and contactless payment facility for toilets, showers and laundry.

Lochcarron Community Development Company


Electro static sanitising machine for public buildings, covid friendly café, outdoor facilties/seating, car parking, 4 e-bikes for hire. EV Charging.

Minginish Community Hall Association


Fairly pools picnic furniture, Walkways/paths within FP carpark.

Morvern Community Development Company


10 E-bikes and related infrastructure.

Portree & Braes Community Trust


Outdoor event space to counter covid restrictions.

Torridon District Community Association


Campervan waste disposal, EV point, outdoor seating for café/shop, parking, visitor information including QR codes.

West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company


Visitors' moorings and jetty upgrade to facilitate COVID safe marine tourism.


Lesley Gallagher

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