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Cash Boost Ceiling Raised For Local Tourism Groups

6th April 2008

Funding for local tourism projects in the Highlands has received a welcome boost from The Highland Council.

The Council has revealed that it contributed over 84,000 to community tourism projects around the Highlands during 2007/08 and that it intends raising the upper limit on individual grants available in the new financial year.

Twenty projects benefited from the Council's Tourism Development Grant Scheme in 2007/08, including: the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival in Durness; Invergordon Tourism Alliance; Ardnamurchan Tourist Association; Lochaber Geopark; a "Best Practice" conference for B&B operators and the Strathpuffer 24 hour Mountain Bike Race.

Announcing enhancements to this year's Tourism Development Grant Scheme, Councillor Drew Hendry Chairman of The Highland Council's Tourism Working Group said: "To meet the demand from community tourism groups throughout the Highlands I am delighted to announce that we have raised the cash limit to 10,000 per application.

"There are many occasions when community tourism groups or local marketing groups are struggling to raise funds for their project and support from The Highland Council can make a real difference. For example, our contribution to this year's Strathpuffer 24 hour Mountain Bike race allowed the organisers to carry out a professional survey of competitors. The results of the survey have allowed the event to prove its worth to the Highland economy and given vital information to make sure it is worth doing in the future."

Another recipient of Council funding was the Invergordon Tourism Alliance, whose focus is providing a welcome to passengers arriving in Invergordon from international cruise liners. Chairman Malcolm Harrison was delighted with the support from The Highland Council.

He said: "Invergordon Tourism Alliance is still in the early stages of development and raising funds has been very difficult for us so we were delighted to receive a grant of 4,235 from Highland Council. The grant meant we were able to purchase a portable pop-up shelter for our volunteer hosts to use as a base on the pier where they meet and greet passengers coming ashore from the cruise liners. Without the Council's help, we would really have struggled."

Local marketing groups or community tourism groups wishing to apply for funding from the Council's Tourism Development Grant Scheme can find more information about the scheme on the Council's website or they can contact Highland Council's Tourism Development Officer, Gordon Ireland on 01463 710729 or e-mail gordon.ireland[AT]


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