A £510,000 upgrade to Moray’s rural tourist infrastructure has moved a step forward – but will not be completed until next year.
The “coast to country” project was first proposed in August last year to ensure beauty spots could cope with the surge of staycations.
However, a delay in submitting a funding application resulted in some parts of the scheme being delayed.
Moray Council is now preparing to move forward with phase two of the plans after campervan waste disposal points were already installed.
A bid for £278,600 from the Scottish Government’s rural tourism infrastructure fund is due to be submitted next month with the remainder to come from the UK Government’s coastal communities fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and contributions from local organisations.
What is included in the plans?
Moray Council wants to upgrade and install new facilities in popular rural locations to help destinations cope with rising visitor numbers.
Included are new motorhome parking and facilities in Cullen, Ballindalloch and Craigellachie.
Public toilets in Findhorn and Ballindalloch are in line for an upgrade.
Car park improvements have been proposed at Ben Rinnes, Ballindalloch, Hopeman and Craigellachie.
And a new car park and footpath could be built at Portknockie’s Bow Fiddle Rock.
It is hoped the work will be completed by April next year.
What is happening now with the plans?
Moray Council hopes the blueprint, which has been drawn up with Visit Moray Speyside, will improve the experience for those visiting the region while reducing the negative impact on communities.
The local authority has now opened a consultation and virtual exhibition for residents to have their say.
Moray Council convener Shona Morrison said: “These are ambitious plans which demonstrate that by communities and organisations working together there is a real opportunity to improve infrastructure to make Moray attractive to visitors while mitigating issues like parking pressures and waste disposal.
“I’m particularly pleased to see the inclusion of additional electric vehicle charging points and improvements to make our beauty spots more accessible.
“I’d encourage those with feedback on the proposals to have their say on these Moray-wide upgrades.”
The virtual exhibition about the plans can be accessed here. Comments can be submitted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to Coast to Country Rural Tourism Fund Project Team, Consultancy, Moray Council, PO Box 6700, Elgin, IV30 9BX.
The deadline for views to be submitted is Friday, September 3.