Angela Constance MSP welcomes Scottish Government funding aimed at helping the local community deal with increased tourism and has encouraged West Lothian Council to apply.
The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund – administered by VisitScotland – is intended to help tourist attractions and the surrounding communities deal with the impact of increased visitor numbers through upgrades to infrastructure such as parking areas, toilet facilities and recycling points.
On 10 October 2017 the First Minister announced £6 million as part of RTIF and a further £3 million was announced in September by the Scottish Government for a third Round of Funding in 2020.
Only Local Authorities and National Park Authorities can apply for funding. However, Almond Valley Community Groups and other agencies can apply to West Lothian council if they have an eligible project.
The deadline to register an Expression of Interest is January 2020.
The Almond Valley MSP said:
“It is no surprise that more and more people have chosen to visit West Lothian. We are rightly proud of our scenery, rich cultural heritage and captivating history. Areas such as Almondell & Calderwood Country Park, Jupiter Artland, Almond Valley Heritage Centre are all wonderful examples.
“And while the increased number of visitors is a welcome boon to the local economy and a ringing endorsement of the warm welcome that Almond Valley residents provide, we must ensure that we effectively manage our tourism
“It is simply a case of dealing with increasing demand. That is what this fund is intended to do and that is why I would encourage West Lothian council, in partnership with our community, to submit an application to share in this investment.
“It is essential that we continue to fund our infrastructure so that it is adequately equipped to deal with number of people who want to enjoy our sites, culture and hospitality for many years to come.”
Who can apply?
The types of project that could be supported include parking, campervan facilities including disposal points, viewpoints and toilet provision.
Successful applications must demonstrate the following:
If you have any further queries, please email RTIF@visitscotland.com
Unit 4, Ochil House, Beveridge Square, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 6QF