Investor sought for Nevis Forest and Mountain Resort

Leanachan hotelA search is underway for an investor to take forward the luxury hotel development planned for the Nevis Forest and Mountain Resort.

The new hotel complex is part of the wider ‘masterplan’ covering part of Leanachan Forest which will see the site made available for a range of recreation and tourism business development opportunities over the next 10-20 years.

Approved by The Highland Council in August last year, the masterplan includes plans for an 80 bed hotel/and or high quality forest lodges; Cabins, yurts, bunkhouse or camping pods area close to the Nevis Range; and an improved A82 gateway, better signage, car parking and landscaping to improve the whole visitor experience.

Forest Enterprise Scotland is working closely with Scottish Development International (SDI), Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Visit Scotland to take forward the opportunities identified in the masterplan.

SDI has now commissioned work on financial modelling and the development of a viable business plan which will help sell the investment potential to businesses keen to take forward the project.

Nevis Forest and Mountain Resort lodgesWelcoming the new piece of work, Ben Lennon of Forest Enterprise Scotland, said: “The masterplan was approved as interim supplementary guidance by Highland Council last August and since then we have been working with all the partners involved to take forward the various parts of the plan.

“We are all very excited what this potential transformation could mean for the area but there is a lot of work to do in order to attract suitable investment from private sector developers.

“This new piece of work commissioned by SDI will be vital in developing a way forward in finding private sector investment to make all this happen.”

In parallel with the investment strategy work, Forest Enterprise Scotland has already undertaken work to improve the forest landscape adjacent to the access road. They have also begun speaking to neighbouring landowners and tenants to explore improvements to welcome and directional signage on the A82, site gateway and access road.

Head of tourism at Scottish Development International, Graeme White, said: “Scotland has much to offer both tourists and investors, with Leanachan Forest’s development being a perfect example of a unique opportunity to tap into our country’s healthy luxury travel market.

“We expect to attract interest from both international and UK investors and developers for this exciting project, and look forward to welcoming new partners on board in due course.”

Scott Dingwall, HIE’s head of regional development for Lochaber Skye and Wester Ross, added: “Tourism is one of our priority growth sectors in the region. The masterplan opens up huge potential to attract investment which could in turn attract more visitors and boost the Lochaber economy.

“Making available financial modelling and a viable business plan is crucial in attracting developers so we are delighted to see the project take this important step forward.”

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