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Monday, May 20, 2024

The Old Man of Storr Economic Growth Opportunities

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Isle of Skye and Raasay Area Committee met and commended the achievements and progress made to date and gave full support of the future economic growth opportunities at ‘The Storr’ for both The Highland Council and local community.

The Storr is an iconic and internationally recognised site, with annual visitor numbers approx. 260,000 in 2023 and set to increase, it’s essential that the facilities are suitable for purpose and enhance the visitors’ experience.

The Old Man of Storr project, abbreviated to be named ‘The Storr’ is “for the community, in the community, by the community” working with local communities, Partners, and with continual local Member involvement, to celebrate our rich heritage and Gaelic culture and to demonstrate engagement and partnership working that is sustainable and environmentally conscious.

To ensure that ‘The Storr’ is self-sustaining for the future and to continue to develop, improve and enhance the facilities with ambition to become a key visitor attraction for Scotland, the next phase of site enhancements will deliver the ‘Ionad an Stòir’ facility which will include a retail space and a multipurpose room which would be available for use for local art installations, for example, and could host small wedding ceremonies or small gatherings.

Isle of Skye and Raasay Area Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said:

“Significant progress has been undertaken throughout 2023 and the project is now ready to enter another exciting phase.

“Community led innovation is at the heart of this development, whilst being considerate of the environment, our unique heritage and Gaelic culture.

“Members are delighted to see the path project, amenities, car park facilities, and the new ‘The Storr’ website and digital assets in place, and we look forward in anticipation for the next phase of the project.

“Developing place-based projects like ‘The Storr’ not only opens opportunity for income generation but importantly will support the overall management of this iconic site to ensure it has a sustainable future.

“A business case was undertaken and outlines the potential income generation based on footfall and consumer spending trends to enable ‘The Storr’ project to forecast and plan for years to come.

“The Storr as a visitor attraction has the potential to generate significant income onsite retail, e-commerce, and electrical vehicle charging, to help cover the costs of on the site as well as reinvestment including at the Storr and in the community.

“Building on improvements made to parking, path networks, toilet and motorhome facilities, this next stage of development is geared towards the sustainable management and maintenance of the Old Man of Storr site, as well as encouraging local business opportunities and significant income generation for The Highland Council.”

The next phase of the project is supported by £440k from the Islands Infrastructure Fund (granted September 2022) and £51k from the Community Regeneration Fund (granted June 2023) for the installation of the Ionad an Stòir unit and EV chargers and aligns with the Council’s ‘Developing a Community Wealth Building Strategy’ and delivers against the strategic aspirations and objectives set out in the place-based investment framework for the area known as Skye & Raasay Future (SARF).

The full report is available here (Item7).

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