Project to transform mountain facility

Public invited to judge £15m Cairngorm plan

Cairngorm 1Plans for a £15 million project to improve facilities on Cairngorm Mountain and transform it into a year-round destination have gone on public display.

Natural Retreats, which currently operates CairnGorm Mountain, is holding further consultation events on Wednesday 4th November and Thursday 5th November (all 11:30 am – 7pm) in the Aonach Room of the CairnGorm Mountain Base Station.

These events will allow local people and interested parties to view the proposals, hear from members of the project team and architects Keppie Design and have their say on the plans.

Natural Retreats aims to create a world class mountain destination with all-year-round appeal by sympathetically enhancing the visitor facilities and broadening the activities that the mountain destination offers.

The project includes a replacement day lodge building with food and drinks outlets, shops, ski and bike hire, a crèche, adventure zone, gym, offices and conference and event space.

There would also be staff bunkhouse accommodation which would allow the facilities to open earlier and close later and a mountain rescue and medical centre.

Also proposed as part of the plans are an artificial ski slope, mountain biking, increased snow making facilities, improvements to the ski uplift, ski slopes and runs, improved signage and way-finding, and improvements to car parking and landscaping.

Wherever possible, Natural Retreats plans to use local firms to carry out the work, and source Scottish materials for the construction of the new building.

Natural Retreats has already submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) for the plans and met with Highland Council and the Cairngorm National Park to discuss the proposals ahead of submitting a formal planning application for the project.

Adam Gough, Head of Technical Services at Natural Retreats said: “Cairngorm Mountain is one of the most beautiful and most visited places in Scotland.

“We want to create a world class facility that matches the stunning setting and increases the long term economic benefit to the local communities in the Badenoch and Strathspey area.

“Current activities on the mountain are heavily weather-dependent and the buildings are no longer fit for purpose. This project will address both of these problems and transform Cairngorm into a four-season mountain destination. We expect that this additional activity at the mountain will result in the creation of an additional 40-50 jobs.

“As part of the planning process, we have already carried out a number of pre-consultation meetings with Highland Council and Cairngorm National Park and we have been greatly encouraged by the positive response so far.”

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