A share of a £3m funding boost will help create parking spaces for more than 100 cars at a Scottish landmark featured in the Harry Potter films.
The car park near Glenfinnan Viaduct has been given nearly £270,000 in the latest round of funding from the Scottish Government’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
It is one of 18 projects to benefit from the cash to help with the demand from growing visitor numbers.
Others include £300,000 for toilet and motorhome facilities at the Old Man of Storr on Skye, and £260,000 for upgrading toilets along the banks of Loch Lomond at Luss, Tarbet and Inveruglas.
The Cairngorms National Park is being given around £270,000 for improvements to car parking, toilets and paths, and around £131,000 will be used for parking at Hoswick, Shetland, to help cope with visitors and cruise traffic.
Some of Scotland’s most iconic, rural tourist sites will receive a share of £3m funding for new facilities to further enhance the visitor experience @FionaHyslop has announced at #glenfinnan which will receiving support for a new car park https://t.co/UjfiJZzR1H #ScotlandIsNow pic.twitter.com/pawXb4UJC0— Scot Gov Culture (@culturescotgov) October 5, 2018
Scottish Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the £3m funding on a visit to the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
She said: “The growing popularity of our stunning natural scenery and rich historical sites is great for bringing jobs and investment to our communities, but can also put pressure on communities, services, transport and facilities – particularly in rural areas.
“This funding will help our industry keep up with the tourism boom by supporting the creation of much-needed infrastructure such as new pathways, car parks and facilities at some of our most iconic rural and natural attractions.”
Highland Council councillor Allan Henderson said parking problems at Glenfinnan are “unsustainable”, with “major congestion and safety issues” on the nearby A830 road.
He said: “This funding will help to ease some of that pressure with new parking for 100 cars and 10 motorhome or bus spaces and will be great news for both visitors and the local community.”
Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes said: “This is a turning-point for Glenfinnan.
“Thousands flock to the site to see the Hogwarts Express pass over the viaduct, as well as to visit the monument which is so steeped in history.
“Glenfinnan is where history meets make-believe, and now tourists can enjoy both in a safer environment.”
- Press Association