With much of rural Scotland re-opening to tourism, this summer presents an ideal time for rural communities to think about the tourism infrastructure needs in their areas. While only local authorities and national park authorities can be the applicant for funding, community groups and other agencies are actively encouraged to apply to their local authority or national part if they have an eligible project or have identified particular need.
The rural tourism infrastructure fund acknowledges that the success of rural tourism and the rise in popularity of touring holidays in Scotland have led to rapid increases in rural visitor numbers. This has resulted in some areas, at certain times of the year, experiencing pressure on infrastructure and negative impacts on some local communities.
Successful applications must demonstrate the following:
- A visitor or community pressure point due to increase or anticipated increase in visitor numbers
- An enhanced visitor experience
- A sustainable approach to the planning design, build and management of the project
- Effective partnerships and collaboration
- Project viability and deliverability
- Community capacity building
The deadline for Round 3 of the fund has been extended from 10 July 2020 to 5.00pm on Wednesday 14 October 2020. The final date that Expressions of Interest (EOI) can be submitted will be Friday 18 September 2020 and all projects must have submitted an EOI and received approval for this before submitting a full Stage 2 application on the 14 October 2020.
For more information about the fund and to view the criteria and eligibility, head to VisitScotland.org.