Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Mountain biking part of new Cairngorm mountain masterplan to shape next 25 years of estate

The new masterplan will help guide projects on the Cairngorm mountain estate for 25 years.
The new masterplan will help guide projects on the Cairngorm mountain estate for 25 years.

A masterplan to shape the next 25 years of the troubled Cairngorm mountain to make it a year-round destination has been revealed.

The blueprint includes 10 strategies to shape the development of the publicly-owned 3,500-acre estate, with hopes to bring mountain biking to the area.

Highlands and Islands Entrpise hope their vision will enhance the reputation of Cairngorm as a “world-class mountain” that allows nature to thrive while providing more outdoor opportunities.

What is the immediate priority?

Early priorities for HIE include stabilising the present operating company Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd over the next two years.

However, investigations will be done to review potential ownership and operating models in the future

HIE has been pouring cash into the present operators to keep them afloat while also funding support for the struggling firm.

The Cairngorm funicular railway has been closed since September 2018.

The world famous funicular has been closed since September 2018 due to safety concerns, although repairs did begin last year.

It is hoped the railway will come back into service for the winter 2021/22 season once strengthening works have ben completed.

Other areas of early focus include developing sustainable transport options with limited car use, creating a plan for mountain biking, relocating the snow factory, electrifying snow cannons and examining options for a new chairlift in Coire Cas.

Recognition some issues will be ‘polarising’

Longer-term projects included in the Cairngorm mountain masterplan include emphasising the importance of creating “a sense of arrival” for visitors.

Blueprints are included in the document to create enhanced “gateways” where services for visitors will be centred.

Extensive path repairs and maintenance are included with proposals for clear signs to help people navigate the range of experiences.

The masterplan aims to create opportunities to ensure the estate is used all year by visitors who are interested in a range of outdoor pursuits.

Snowsports are a priority in the masterplan with hopes to develop other activities to make the mountain a year-round destination.

Dave MacLeod, HIE’s head of property and infrastructure, explained a balance needs to be struck to unlock Cairngorm’s full potential as an environmental and economic asset.

He said: “This masterplan is a really important tool to guide the development of lots of individual plans that will come forward in future.

“It was clear from the start that some issues will always be quite polarising. For instance, some people hold strong views both for and against changes to visitor management at the plateau and on the potential for mountain biking within the estate.

“Any future plans that might be brought forward on these subjects would need to be thought through very carefully and, of course, be subject to the regulatory planning process.”

Future focus on mountain education

The Cairngorm masterplan was drawn up following a public consultation that generate more than 2,100 responses.

Local businesses, community groups, sporting and nature conservation organisations and public bodies also submitted their views.

Mountain education was one topic that found widespread approval during the talks.

The masterplan proposes replacing the current lodge with a new facility incorporating a “centre of excellence” for research and teaching that can also host events.

Empty car parks have been common at Cairngorm throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Grant Moir, chief executive of the Cairngorm National Park Authority, has welcomed the publication, which he says sets a “clear vision” for the future of the estate.

Ivan McKee, the Scottish Government’s tourism minister, said: “The long term sustainability of the estate and its role in supporting the local community, the rural economy, snowsports and the wider tourism industry is a priority for the Scottish Government.

“The masterplan will enable work to continue on more detailed plans to maximise its potential for present and future generations whilst protecting the mountain environment.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]