Thu 18 Jun, 2020

Responding to the publication of the Auditor General’s report: Highlands and Islands Enterprise Management of Cairngorm Mountain and Funicular Railway, Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie said: 

“The Cairngorm Mountain complex is vital to the local economy. It is therefore essential that the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise ensure that Badenoch and Strathspey communities play a pivotal role in its future. 

“The long-term impact of this closure, combined with the impact of the current Covid19 crisis, has left the local area extremely fragile and it is vital that in re-establishing operations at the mountain, the wider economic impact isn’t overlooked. 

“The Auditor General’s report highlights how HIE could have been better placed to react to the Cairngorm crisis if it had reviewed the private operator’s finances on an ongoing basis. This is the second time in a decade that HIE had to step in to save the resort after third party operators ran into difficulty. It is my view that an amenity of such high importance to the area should be operated in the public interest, whether that be directly by HIE or potentially by the community itself. 

“Regardless of the specific operating model it’s clear that HIE will require to be far more engaged in an ongoing basis.”

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