Stirling SNP MSP Bruce Crawford has commended the new Scottish Government funding aimed at helping the local community deal with increased tourism.
The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund – administered by VisitScotland – is intended to help tourist attractions and the surrounding communities deal with the impact of increased visitor numbers through upgrades to infrastructure such as parking areas, toilet facilities and recycling points.
In Stirling, the Doune Tourism Development has already benefitted from this scheme. An investment of £239,560 was made towards the partnership between Historic Environment Scotland, Stirling Council and the local community. The aim of this was to address the issues that have arisen from the growth in visitor numbers at Doune Castle. The impact of this investment means refurbishment of the village toilets, extensions to the path network between the Castle and village, signage and interpretation.
On 10 October 2017 the First Minister announced £6 million as part of RTIF and a further £3 million was announced in September by the Scottish Government for a third Round of Funding in 2020.
Only Local Authorities and National Park Authorities can apply for funding. However, Stirling Community Groups and other agencies can apply to Stirling council if they have an eligible project.
The deadline to register an Expression of Interest is January 2020.
Bruce Crawford MSP for Stirling said:
“It is no surprise that more and more people are choosing to visit the Stirling area. We are rightly proud of our scenery, rich cultural heritage and captivating history. This is why it’s important for locals groups to follow Doune Tourism Developments example, and apply for this funding.
“And while the increased number of visitors is a welcome boon to the local economy and a ringing endorsement of the warm welcome that Doune residents provide, we must ensure that we effectively manage our tourism.
“It is simply a case of dealing with increasing demand. That is what this fund is intended to do and that is why I would encourage Stirling council, in partnership with our community, to submit an application to share in this investment.
“It is essential that we continue to fund our infrastructure so that it is adequately equipped to deal with number of people who want to enjoy our sites, culture and hospitality for many years to come.”