Scottish ski centres get £5.5m funding lift

Skiing Snowsports are said to be important for Scotland

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Scottish ski centres are to invest £5.5m to upgrade their facilities.

Glenshee and Glencoe will replace their chair lifts, costing £2.47m and £1.89m respectively. The Nevis Range and Lecht will spend £707,000 and £456,000 on upgrades to tow lifts.

Highland and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise are providing 75% of the funding, with the rest coming from the ski centres.

Cairngorm Mountain Ltd has already upgraded its infrastructure.

Fergus Ewing, the Scottish government's minister for business, energy and tourism, made the announcement at Glenshee Ski Centre.

'Vital income'

He said: "The snowsports sector is very important for Scotland's rural economy and is worth an estimated £30m per year, supporting over 600 jobs.

"Our ski centres bring many tourists to Scotland and this considerable investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, who have worked together with the centres to identify their needs, will provide the necessary support to ensure the sector's long term viability.

"The outdoors is the number one reason why people visit Scotland and for every £1 spent on the hills an additional £4 is spent in the surrounding areas which provide vital income in many rural areas."

Nevis Range Nevis Range will spend £707,000 on upgrading tow lifts

Mr Ewing added: "The most recent full ski season in Scotland saw over 235,000 skier days recorded and with this funding we can look forward to many more successful years."

Graham McCabe, managing director at Glenshee Ltd, said: "The new lifts will further develop Glenshee's snowsports experience by improving access to higher altitude snowfields and will undoubtedly help retain domestic skiers on Scotland's slopes whilst hopefully encouraging more international snowsport enthusiasts to sample what Scottish skiing has to offer."

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