Tourism infrastructure in Moray has missed out on a £400,000 investment due to a funding application taking too long to prepare.
The council had been preparing a bid to the Scottish Government’s rural tourism infrastructure fund to support its “coast to country” project.
The scheme aimed to upgrade facilities in rural locations with better paths to the Bow Fiddle Rock near Portknockie, an expanded car park in Hopeman and electric car charge points and chemical toilet disposals at various sites.
However, now it has emerged the application will not be submitted because it was “unrealistic” for it to be ready by the October 14 deadline.
Concerns have been raised about whether tourism facilities across the country in rural locations can cope with the rise in staycations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a report, Moray Council’s economic growth and regeneration manager, Reni Milburn, explained officers would be ready to have the application submitted in December – but warned she was unaware when the next window of funding bids would open.
She added: “Whilst it was not possible to submit an application to the fund at this point, the extra time will allow officers to develop a robust business case and will ensure that the relevant community groups are engaged and consulted in the process.
“If future funding applications agreed by council are successful it will allow the council to alleviate some of the problems through investment in the infrastructure such as car and camper van parking, toilet facilities, chemical toilet waste disposals and signage.”