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Monday, May 20, 2024

AGCT to Take Over Glenmore Visitor Centre 

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Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust (AGCT) is to take over the Glenmore Visitor Centre and Car Park after a successful application to Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS). 

The scheme empowers community organisations to ask to take over publicly owned land or buildings that they feel they can make better use of for local people. 

The AGCT request was approved by FLS, supported by the recommendation of an independent panel of assessors, who recognised the community and public benefit likely to be delivered. 

The Glenmore Visitor Centre is a flagship site, with over a million visitors a year to the Glenmore area.   

Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said:   

“Acting as a hub from which visitors can go on to explore the many wonders of the Cairngorms National Park, Glenmore is a significant tourist draw and a prominent destination on the tourism map of Scotland.

“That the Trust has been successful is another strong validation of the Community Asset Transfer process and is great news for the community, for visitors and for the network of SMEs in Glenmore. 

“AGCT has been successfully running the Aviemore Ice Rink for several years and the Trustees have considerable business experience.  

“Approving the request is likely to increase community and public benefit through community ownership and positively engage the community as a key partner to support sustainable tourism in Glenmore.” 

The AGCT bid has received support from key stakeholders including the Aviemore Community Enterprise, Voluntary Action Badenoch & Strathspey (VABS), Badenoch & Strathspey Community ConnXions, Aviemore & Vicinity Community Council and local tourism businesses including the MacDonald Aviemore Resort. 

Of the 28 individuals and organisation that made representations on the request 25 were wholly supportive.  

AGCT Chair, Duncan Swarbrick, said:

“We’re thrilled to receive Forestry and Land Scotland’s positive Decision Notice. 

“This transfer enables the community to take ownership of a key asset that plays a vital role in local tourism.

“It provides AGCT with a unique opportunity to contribute to sustainable community-led tourism and environmental stewardship and we are excited about opportunities and positive impacts that lie ahead.

“Our commitment is to realise the full potential of the Glenmore Visitor Centre for the benefit of all by celebrating Glenmore’s rich heritage, hosting community events, and working in close partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland to promote responsible tourism and environmental conservation.

“We are delighted at the level of public support throughout which shows how integral the Visitor Centre is to a healthy and vibrant local economy.

“We have also built up a positive working relationship with FLS and are keen to work with them on improving visitor facilities in Glenmore.”

FLS Chief Executive Simon Hodgson, added:

“Since 2017, we have completed 25 asset transfer requests across Scotland, opening up opportunities for communities and empowering them to realise even more of their potential, with a strong pipeline of requests in development.

“The Glenmore Visitor Centre is at the heart of the visitor experience to Glenmore Forest Park and we look forward to working with AGCT to realise the full potential of this much loved area for visitors and the local community.

“I hope this and the many other transfers will serve as an example of how community empowerment can deliver community benefits and wealth building.”

The decision notice is on FLS website and individuals and organisations that made representations have been notified. 

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