Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust (AGCT) have today Thursday 18th April, welcomed a funding package of over £90,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to support their development of detailed plans for community ownership of the Cairngorm Mountain Ski Resort, one of Scotland’s leading visitor attractions and outdoor adventure playgrounds. The funding will support two roles initially, a Project Manager and Administrative Officer based locally, with further scope to grow the team.
The funding boost for the trust comes on the back of extensive coordination and discussions with HIE following the previous operator, Cairngorm Mountain Limited, entering administration at the end of 2018.
The AGCT board currently consists of 7 voluntary local directors, with a wealth of experience in building successful businesses. This funding allows AGCT to take on dedicated staff to start implementing and accelerating the trust’s plans for community ownership of Cairngorm.
Mike Gale, AGCT Director commented , “We are delighted HIE have come to the table in offering us financial support in employing 2 key members of staff to the trust. This is a fantastic positive step and commitment to the community from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, in recognising our professionalism and vision to deliver a sustainable future for Cairngorm being run by the community. “The people living, working, managing and owning businesses in the area deserve to have a world class summer and winter attraction with a sustainable future and the support we have received through the community to deliver on our plans gains momentum every week.
Mike continued to add, “One of the frustrations in the past has been the reluctance to be listened to. We are now seeing the community’s ideas being put into a plan, both with short term and long-term benefits. Everything from an Alpine coaster and mountain biking trails to changing the catering set up at the day lodge. The goal has always been to make the business sustainable for the future and the ideas and support from the community are only helping cement this for the future”.
James Gibbs, HIE Area Manager, Inner Moray Firth, said: “HIE has a well-established track record across our region of supporting local communities and their economies to secure benefits from key assets that can deliver a broad range of social and economic benefits. “Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust have demonstrated huge commitment to work towards a sustainable future for Cairngorm Mountain, which is a goal we clearly share, both as the landowner and the region’s development agency. “The trust’s ideas are very closely aligned with the vision that was set out in the uplift review that HIE commissioned from international consultants last year, and we are delighted to be able to support them to develop their plans further as a valued partner in the community.