What is the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund?
The increasing popularity of outstanding scenic areas stimulated by marketing successes such as the North Coast 500, film tourism and the huge growth in cruise liner arrivals has led to rapid increases in visitor numbers. This has resulted in some areas, at certain times of the year, experiencing pressure on infrastructure and negative impacts on some local communities.
On 10 October 2017 the First Minister announced a £6 million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to address some of these concerns.
Administered by VisitScotland, this fund will support sustainable, well planned, inspiring, and collaborative infrastructure projects that focus on improving the visitor experience and enable more visitors to enjoy Scotland’s rural communities.
Who can apply?
The types of project that could be supported include parking, camping facilities, disposal points (especially for camper vans) and toilet provision.
The fund is a platform which will provide leverage of additional and focused investment, stimulate collaboration and build capacity within communities.
Successful applications must demonstrate the following:
- A visitor or community pressure point due to increased visitor numbers
- An enhanced visitor experience
- A sustainable approach
- Community capacity building
- Effective partnerships and collaboration
- Project viability and deliverability
The deadline for Stage 2 submissions for round two of the fund is 31 January 2019.
Only Local Authorities and National Park Authorities can apply for funding. However, Community Groups and other agencies can apply to their Local Authority or National Park if they have an eligible project.
If you have any further queries, please email RTIF@visitscotland.com
RTF Fund - Terms and conditions
Published: November 2018
Detailed criteria for applicants, with guidelines and information about who can apply for the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund
Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund - Round 1
Argyll & Bute Council. Fionnphort Car Park Improvements £58,930. Upgrade to the Columba Centre car park at Fionnphort to provide space for campervans and dedicated disabled parking.
Dumfries & Galloway Council. Criffel - Sea to Summit £210,000. Works include 1.3 km summit path to create a sustainable, durable and accessible route with improvements to the car park, signage and interpretation.
Scottish Borders Council. Eildon Hills Pathways £102,178. The project will deliver 4km of upland path improvements to improve the quality of the visitor experience and prevent erosion at this popular site.
Argyll & Bute Council. Bruichladdich - Port Charlotte Pathway £300,000. An accessible all abilities pathway to link the accommodation and tourism businesses in Port Charlotte with the Bruichladdich businesses and Distillery and provide a safe route for non-vehicle traffic.
Highland Council. Storr Parking & Visitor Facilities £300,000. New toilet and motorhome facilities at Storr to support walkers, cars, coaches and cyclists which will complement the car parking development already underway.
Highland Council. Lochcarron North Coast 500 £129,325. Five enhanced viewpoints on the 11.5 m stretch of the Lochcarron – Bealach na Ba road between Tornapress and Applecross with parking spaces for motorhomes.
Highland Council. Mallaig - Traigh Motorhome Facilities £286,286.50. New toilet and motorhome service facilities at Mallaig and the refurbishment of the existing but disused toilets at Traigh Beach with improved signage and information.
Highland Council. Blabheinn Toilets and Parking £65,579. Green toilet facilities in a popular climbing and visitor site with improved and extended car parking, signage and information provision.
Shetland Islands Council. Parking Hub at Hoswick £131,660. Parking hub to reduce the pressure from visitors and cruise coaches in the small village of Hoswick and improve the visitor experience and reduce pressure on the community.
Approved Projects Subject to Conditions
Argyll & Bute Council. Tiree Turf and Surf £131,366. Provision of an additional 95 car parking spaces, better access links between parking areas and beaches and signage to accommodate the increase in visitor numbers and protect the machair landscape.
Cairngorms National Park. Muir of Dinnet £50,000. Improvements to the car parking and toilet facilities and provide waste disposal facilities to address demand and prevent roadside parking.
Cairngorms National Park. Active Glenmore £226,786. A new 1.1 km path, linking four car parks, visitor attractions and accommodation will improve safety and access in a key visitor hotspot in the Cairngorms.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Tourism Outer Hebrides 2020 £242,681. A multi partner project to develop an Island wide network of facilities and infrastructure to improve the visitor experience including car parks, campervan service points, electrical hook up points and signage.
Dumfries & Galloway Council. Raiders Road - Otter Pool £58,000. Development of new toilets, improved access to the water’s edge, recycling and disposal waste system for visitor and mobile home users.
Highland Council. Motorhome Facilities - The Cludgie Project £50,050. Provision waste disposal and fresh water supply facility for motorhomes/campervans in Lochinver.
Highland Council. Glenfinnan Parking £269,906. Additional parking to cater for 100 cars and 10 motorhomes/buses in Glenfinnan attracted by the Harry Potter films to the viaduct and the steam train.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority. Falls of Leny £247,000. A community led partnership project to improve the visitor infrastructure at the Corriechrombie car park, facilitate visitor access to the Falls and walkers to Ben Ledi.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority. West Loch Lomond £260,000. Package of improvements to relieve visitor pressure at Luss and redirect toilet stop traffic to locations further up the west of Loch Lomond at Tarbet and Inveruglas as well as improvements to the toilets at Luss to increase accessibility.