The SNP Group on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have warmly welcomed the £6 million Rural Tourism Fund recently announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP’s 83rd annual conference in Glasgow.
The fund is expected to launch in early 2018 and will be delivered over two years (2018/19 and 2019/20) to help ensure the services and facilities tourists and communities need are provided.
The new fund will support a wide range of improvement projects – such as parking, camping facilities, waste disposal points and footpath access.
John Mitchell, SNP Councillor for Na Hearadh Agus Ceann A Deas Nan Loch (Harris and South Lochs) commented: “The Rural Tourism Fund is a very progressive initiative that will undoubtedly benefit many communities across the Isles.
“In my own ward we have had an exceptionally busy tourist season. Harris has a fragile economy and the large numbers of tourists we are seeing help to support the area with much needed jobs.
“However, no-one can deny that the level of infrastructure has struggled to keep up with demand and we need to improve the facilities on offer if we want visitors to come back year after year.
“It is an unfortunate reality that this type of investment is rarely seen as a priority for the council.
“My SNP colleagues and I look forward to working with our community groups, trusts etc and our local MSP, Alasdair Allan, to help island groups in their bids for funding.“