Highland MSP presses Scottish Government for direct investment in Cairngorm Mountain

Highlands and Islands MSP, Edward Mountain, today pressed the Scottish Government to directly invest in Cairngorm Mountain during a session of Topical Questions at the Scottish Parliament.

Edward Mountain asked the Rural Economy Secretary: “Given that it will probably take two years to get the funicular railway operational, and with the new snow factory probably in the wrong place, there is little to attract families to Cairngorm Mountain. Can the Cabinet Secretary please confirm what actual cash funds are committed from today to support the mountain over the next two years?

The Rural Economy Secretary replied: “I’m afraid I don’t accept the sweeping judgement that he has made there as correct and quite honestly it is simply impossible to answer a question about how much money is required until we know the facts.”

The Rural Economy Secretary confirmed that the Scottish Government is awaiting the structural engineers report on the funicular railway.

He continued “until we have established what their recommendations are, until that review is peer-reviewed, it is by definition not possible to assess what action is required to remedy the defects of the funicular, far less make a budget.”

Following the exchange, Edward Mountain MSP made the following comment:

“Yesterday I held a useful meeting at Cairngorm Mountain with the operators to discuss the future of the mountain. It is clear they have some ideas for a new business plan and hope to offer an exciting family experience to replace the lack of a funicular railway. However, this depends on investment and to come up with a reasonable business plan you need to know how much you have to invest.

So I’m deeply disappointed with the Cabinet Secretary’s answer today. The Scottish Government is unwilling to say how much money will be put aside to rebuild the Cairngorm Mountain resort. How can the new operators of Cairngorm Mountain develop a business plan if they don’t know how much money is available?”