Tayside and Central Scotland

5 Lochs plan for investment at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

Loch Lomond
Image caption The 5 Lochs Visitor Management Plan will see £850,000 invested at sites in this financial year

Plans have been drawn up to transform five sites within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park into world-class tourist destinations.

The 5 Lochs Visitor Management Plan should see £850,000 spent on facilities at sites around the park.

New campsites, parking bays and toilets will be among the improvements at Loch Venachar, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Earn, Lochs Achray and Loch Voil.

The improvements will be subject to planning permission.

The plan identifies current issues which impact the visitor experience at the National Park and on the environment - including problems like litter, toilets, damage to sites and parking - and how these issues will be addressed over the next five years.

Enhanced facilities

The National Park Authority intends to invest £850,000 for the first stage of development in this financial year, subject to planning permission.

Among the new facilities proposed are small-scale campsites, toilet facilities, new parking bays, barbecue stands, picnic benches, commercial kiosks, motorhome facilities and recycling points.

The authority intends to upgrade numerous sites over the next five years and said it plans to invest "significant capital funds in transforming the area".

Subject to planning permission and landowner agreement, the work is expected to start at the Loch Lubnaig sites in February with completion in early summer.

International destination

Bruce Crawford, MSP for Stirling, said: "With over seven million visitor days spent in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park generating over £205m to the local economy, the National Park is a huge asset to Scotland and our rural communities.

"Providing visitors with a rounded experience and enhancing popular sites with new facilities, our National Parks can rival some of the world's top visitor destinations."

Linda McKay, convener of the National Park Authority, said the aim was to develop the park into an international tourist destination.

She said: "Raising the standard of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to be on a par with our US counterparts such as Yosemite where visitor needs are catered for and the tourism industry has a huge impact on the national economy."

Problems tackled

The development plan has been drawn up with local communities, the National Park Authority and private and public sector partners.

Alistair Barclay, vice chair of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Community Council, said: "The Visitor Management Plan tackles issues, such as litter and anti-social behaviour that have caused real problems in the area over the past few years.

"Working together we can tackle the issues and make the area a great place for people to live in, a place for tourists to visit and spend time in and an environment that reflects its National Park status."

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