Following on from a public meeting on the 5th of October 2017 where the Glendale Community Council received a unanimous mandate from the community the Glendale Community Council has published an options report which details suggestions put forward to improve local tourism related infrastructure.
This report follows on from two previous reports detailing the incredible levels of traffic and visitor numbers to the area, and the impact the area is facing due to a lack of public toilets.
Glendale, which is recognised as one of the most iconic and best known destinations on Skye, is so popular due to stunning scenery locations such as Neist Point; being home to the world famous Three Chimneys Restaurant; and being one of the most important locations in terms of Scottish heritage and culture, due to the Glendale crofters leading role in delivering land reform across Scotland.
The recent announcement of the The Scottish Governments Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund – which will see £6 million invested over two years, supportive remarks Fiona Hyslop (Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs and the announcement of a local “Task Force” by Kate Forbes MSP, has encouraged the Glendale Community Council to call for a local project stakeholder group to be set up. Invitations will be issued to the Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and local stakeholders to deliver a tourism infrastructure project for the area.
Speaking on behalf of the Community Council, Vice Chair Kevin Stockley says, “there is a real opportunity to see much needed improvements delivered in Glendale. Given the recognition of the issues by our community, tourism related businesses, public-sector organisations and public servants, we, as a community are now ready to deliver. There are a range of options to be considered many of which, if delivered properly will make a real difference to locals and tourists alike. It won’t be long until the tourist season is back in full swing and we simply cannot be in a situation where improvements have not been delivered. The time for talking is over we must make sure our communities and Island are ready to welcome visitors.”
Fellow Community Councillor Neil Fergusson highlighted the need for urgency. “Glendale is ready, we have undertaken consultations, highlighted the issues, and possess a clear mandate to deliver improvements. What we urgently need is a direct working dialogue with key stakeholders such as the Highland Council, who have responsibilities for roads, signage and public transport. It is imperative that these organisations are round the table early and we work together to get our responsibilities, plans and funding in place as soon as possible. Our short term goals need to be delivered as soon as possible while we ensure there is an ongoing long term sustainable strategy for the area, which encourages sustainable growth based on a solid infrastructure foundation. It is clear that Councillors are keen to re-engage with the community and strengthen the local element to the services they deliver. This will reverse the perception of remoteness from Inverness and the Councillors through the local ward group should seek core capital funding as a matter of priority for significant critical projects for the area. There is a need to reverse the failure of local government in our area through lack of core funding. This project amongst others presents a real opportunity for nurturing further Council led village projects that draw all agencies together with community interests foremost.”
Kate Forbes MSP Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has offered her support – “The progress made in Glendale is a model for how communities proactively capitalise on the benefits of rapid growth in tourism.
“Whilst it’s clear that residents had an exceptionally busy summer, it’s remarkable to see how quick and enterprising they have been in highlighting the challenges, engaging with each other and public bodies and sourcing solutions.
“I, for one, am willing to do anything I can to assist the Glendale community take forward ambitious plans for sustainable growth. We could all take a leaf out of their book.”
John Finlayson a local councillor added that “he continued to be impressed with the proactive approach taken by the Glendale community to identify projects that would make a difference for locals and tourists alike and which had been identified following community consultation and an evaluation of surveys and hard facts.
He also hoped that the by working in partnership with the Glendale community, the council and other agencies could begin to deliver projects that will make a difference very soon.”
The Options Report Can be viewed here – GCC-TIP-Final-14-11-17
Donald Murdie Community Council Secretary via email – firstname.lastname@example.org