18th December 2015
A new visitor attraction in Grantown-on-Spey, promoting the Highland’s rich cultural heritage, has been given the go ahead by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).
Meeting in Ballater this morning (Friday 18th December), the planning committee approved the development which will see the former Grantown East railway station – just off the A95 – brought back to life, as well as the creation of a Highland Games demonstration area.
The application by Revack Lodge Estate LLC involves turning the old railway station buildings into a shop and a multi-purpose display area to promote local crafts and history, with former railway carriages being converted into a café. The new Highland Games demonstration area, where visitors will learn about caber tossing and hammer throwing, will also feature a covered viewing area.
Speaking at the meeting, Planning Officer Katherine Donnachie said: “While some concerns have been raised by neighbours, and I am sympathetic to those, this development is fully supported by our policies including supporting economic growth – especially in relation to expanding the tourism offering in the National Park. It is also bringing back to life existing building stock and supports the promotion of the cultural heritage of the area.”
Convener of the CNPA planning committee, Eleanor Mackintosh commented: “I think this development is set to offer visitors a unique and interesting experience and it will bring a welcome boost, not just to Grantown but the surrounding area. Our own Sustainable Tourism Strategy identifies the need for more cultural heritage attractions and experiences and the need to make more of the fantastic produce, arts and crafts of the Cairngorms National Park, so I fully support the application.”
You can read the planning paper in full here.