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.

Funding boost to help Cairngorms ski slope cash in on expected bumper winter season

Skiers at the Lecht.
Skiers at the Lecht.

One of the north-east’s premier ski centres has received a £300,000 funding boost to ensure it can capitalise amid predictions of a bumper winter.

Continued uncertainty surrounding international travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic means slopes across Scotland are expecting heightened interest with enthusiasts expected to stay at home this year.

Now the Lecht, which is based in the Cairngorms near Tomintoul, has received a cash boost from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to ensure it can guarantee more snow whatever the weather.

The funding will be used by the ski centre to buy advanced snow-making equipment, including cannons and a piste machine, to enhance downhill conditions – even in mild winters.

It is hoped the £400,000 project will be completed before Christmas.

Similar technology, which was also supported by HIE, is already used on the nursery slopes to guarantee conditions for people to build confidence on while weather has been poor in recent years.

Technological improvements mean the latest equipment can still produce snow in temperatures up to -1C, three degrees higher than the existing cannons.

Success in continuing to attract skiers during mild weather has built confidence in management that it can expanded to other parts of the centre.

The latest investment will be used to ensure more routes will definitely be open when the centre, which was established in the 1970s, opens for the latest season on December 18.

Angie Smith, senior business development manager for HIE, said: “The Lecht is a key part of Moray’s winter tourism offering.

The Lecht is popular with skiers from across Scotland.

“This project will enable the business to tap into the winter staycation market and support valuable employment in a rural area where they have greater proportional impact.

“It will also bring benefits to the local economy through more and longer visits and increased visitor spend.”

Current travel restrictions mean skiers travelling to popular resorts in France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria will need to self-isolate after returning amid government advice against “all but essential” trips.

It is hoped that the new technology at the Lecht will continue to provide added benefits beyond the winter into next year’s Easter holidays – supporting at least 15 seasonal jobs at the centre.

Skiers at the Lecht.

Meanwhile, the ski centre has launched an appeal to skiers to help fill the remaining funding gap to cover the cost of buying the equipment.

Managing director Pieter du Pon said: “There have always been variations in snow fall in Scotland. At the Lecht, we want to be able to offer consistent, reliable snow conditions.”

“We still have a lot of work to do, aiming to crowd-fund the balance of the project.

“Today we are launching a massive crowd-funding push to raise the £80,000 required and are offering rewards for individuals and businesses who support us in this way.”

More details about the crowdfunding appeal is available on the Lecht’s website.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]