Plans for luxury tourism development near Ben Nevis

Artist's impression of the interior of the five-start resort hotel with views of Ben Nevis
Artist's impression of the interior of the five-start resort hotel with views of Ben Nevis

Plans for a £25 million luxury hotel in the shadow of Ben Nevis have moved a step closer with work starting on a business plan for the project.

And it is hoped this will help to attract investors for the ambitious scheme in Lochaber.

The new hotel complex is part of a wider “masterplan”, which covers 270 acres of land either side of the Aonach Mor access road in Leanachan Forest.

The plan, which would open up the site for a range of recreation and tourism business development opportunities over the next 10 to 20 years, includes an 80 bed hotel and/or high quality forest lodges and cabins, yurts, a bunkhouse or camping pods near the Nevis Range.

It would also provide improved access from the A82 Inverness to Glasgow road, with better signage, car parking and landscaping.

Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) is working closely with Scottish Development International (SDI), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and VisitScotland to take forward the opportunities identified in the masterplan.

And SDI has now commissioned work on financial modelling and the development of a viable business plan, which will help sell the investment potential to businesses keen to take forward the project.

Ben Lennon, of FES, said: “The masterplan was approved as interim supplementary guidance by Highland Council last August and, since then, we have been working with all the partners involved to take forward the various parts of the plan.

“We are all very excited what this potential transformation could mean for the area, but there is a lot of work to do in order to attract suitable investment from private sector developers.

“This new piece of work commissioned by SDI will be vital in developing a way forward in finding private sector investment to make all this happen.”

FES has also undertaken work to improve the forest landscape next to the access road.