Highlands & Islands

Talks held on future of jobs at CairnGorm Mountain

CairnGorm Mountain resort Image copyright CairnGorm Mountain
Image caption Natural Retreats took over the running of CairnGorm Mountain in 2014

The operator of the CairnGorm Mountain snowsports centre, near Aviemore, has started consulting staff on potential job losses at the site.

The ski centre and its funicular railway are owned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Natural Retreats began a 25-year lease for the running of the site and its railway in June 2014.

It said the latest ski season has been "challenging" and "poor" and this had affected revenue.

The company, which owns holiday accommodation at a number of locations in the UK and elsewhere, said its winter revenue was crucial to sustaining the operation of the centre during summer months.

Janette Jansson, of Natural Retreat's CairnGorm Mountain Ltd, said: "We can confirm that conversations took place with staff last week and are still ongoing regarding their roles at CairnGorm Mountain.

"We are not able to confirm numbers and we do not think it is fair on those individuals who might be affected to disclose further information regarding their positions.

"CairnGorm Mountain is such a big part of Aviemore and we know that many of our staff are well known in the community and we want to respect their privacy."

'Huge impact'

She said the consultation process was ongoing and managers were still speaking to individuals to explore alternative options, such as opportunities for temporary redeployment elsewhere within the Natural Retreats portfolio.

Ms Jansson said: "This current winter season has been challenging especially two of the key trading months, January and February, which includes the half-term holidays.

"Since the start of the year we have opened for snow sports on 24 days with limited terrain and uplift available.

"The poor season has had a huge impact on our winter revenue, which is crucial to sustain the operation during the summer months."

She added: "As a snowsports destination, we have to ensure that regardless of peaks and troughs in snowfall and therefore visitors, that we are adequately staffed so that we can continue to deliver a great experience for visitors.

"The current review of our workforce at CairnGorm Mountain is being carefully managed to ensure that enough resources and staff remain in place to cope with demand at peak times."

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