Work underway on significant tourism development project
Issued by VisitScotland
Gigha’s visitor economy is getting a boost with a major infrastructure project to improve facilities for motorhomes and campers.
Work is underway on the project, to provide a new fully accessible toilet and showering facility with provision for 6 motorhome hook up points, camping pitches and a motorhome waste disposal point.
The total value of the build is £475,491 with £201,000 coming from Round 2 of VisitScotland’s Rural Tourism and Infrastructure Fund, administered on behalf of The Scottish Government. The initial contribution was £171,000 but was increased due to the challenges and delays caused by the pandemic.
The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund gives support to projects across the country to help ensure the services and facilities visitors and communities need are provided. This work is crucial so that the impact of tourism on the day-to-day life of communities and infrastructure is considered and supported.
The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund was established by The Scottish Government and to date, £9 million of grant funding has been awarded to 45 projects across rural Scotland, since the start of the Fund in 2018.
Other match funders include Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Argyll and Bute Council and the Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust.
The visitor economy is worth over £440 million pounds to Argyll and Bute. However, VisitScotland’s commitment to responsible tourism is changing the way The National Tourism Organisation views tourism and events, considering the welfare of communities as much as the value and the needs of the visitor.
Preserving Scotland’s natural assets for future generations requires balance. Travel and tourism sustain communities and make for a more inclusive society, striving to maintain economic activity whilst minimising negative environmental and social impact.
David Adams McGilp, Regional Director, VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland is focused on the recovery of the industry, building a destination and visitor experience which allows tourism and events to flourish now and in the future. We’ll continue to work with, and support, businesses to ensure we rebuild this vital part of Argyll & Bute’s economy. I am delighted VisitScotland’s Rural Tourism and Infrastructure Fund is able to commit such a substantial investment to improving Gigha’s facilities and amenities. Visitors can now enjoy the island’s stunning scenery and birdlife in more comfort, reducing the impact on the local community whilst supporting tourism jobs and businesses. Tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in Argyll & Bute and enhancing the well-being of everyone who experiences it.”
Jane Millar, Development Manager, The Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust said: “We are delighted to have secured funding from the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund for the Gigha camp and motorhome project. Gigha currently has an accommodation shortage, which has a knock-on effect on the island’s tourist season. The number of visitors to Gigha has steadily risen from 2015 and during peak times we cannot accommodate all visitors. Therefore, the new facility will be welcomed by visitors who wish to spend more than a day on Gigha.
The project will benefit island residents and local businesses by deterring indiscriminate parking and camping on the island, whilst offering visitors the comfort of a dedicated camping location. The chosen site location also fits with Gigha’s wider strategy to reduce use of vehicles on the island by making it very accessible and within short distance from the ferry slip.
We look are looking forward to improving our visitors experience and supporting a sustainable approach towards tourism for our community. The Isle of Gigha camp and motorhome site is due to welcome its first visitors in Spring 2022.”
Councillor Robin Currie, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council:
“Tourism is a vital industry to the people of Argyll and Bute supporting so many of our rural communities. As we help to support ongoing recovery, it’s fantastic that the rise in domestic tourism is having a positive impact of the local economy.
At the same time, we want to encourage responsible tourism and help provide appropriate amenities and facilities to cope with the increase in demand.
After a hugely challenging time for the industry, the RTIF funding in addition to the Council’s Staycation funding of £10,000 is welcomed.
The new facilities on Gigha are a real boost for the local economy delivering multiple benefits for both residents and visitors.”
For further information of VisitScotland’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, go to https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus