Marine focus for Lochaber leisure business

Work has started on a £261,000 tourism development on the shores of Loch Linnhe.

Work has started on a £261,000 tourism development on the shores of Loch Linnhe.

Kentallen Leisure Ltd which operates the Holly Tree Hotel and Loch Linnhe Waterfront Lodges is behind the investment that will see new pontoons added and the Old Railway Pier at Kentallen extended.

Yachtsmen, boat users, divers, kayakers, local tour operators and fishermen all stand to benefit from the proposed marine development.

Meanwhile, a new coffee shop and hot tub/spa extension to the main 20-bedroom Holly Tree Hotel will significantly improve visitor facilities for existing and emerging markets like cyclists and walkers who use the nearby national cycle route.

The project is being supported with a £65,400 contribution from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). This will help create five new jobs in a rural part of Lochaber and allow the company to increase its domestic and international business.

Director of Kentallen Leisure Paul McFatridge said: “This latest development underlines our commitment to grow the business particularly in the off-peak winter months. Offering additional attractions like these means we can appeal to a wider range of visitors and provide more enhanced facilities for our core short break and food and drink markets.

“Whether people arrive here by boat and want to do some cycling or drop in whilst touring the Highlands by bike for a coffee or some recently landed seafood, we aim to develop a visitor experience that is as flexible and memorable as possible.”

Tourism is a key sector for HIE and it works with confident and ambitious businesses like Kentallen Leisure Ltd that have potential to grow higher value markets.

Elaine Jones from HIE said: “Kentallen Leisure’s proposed provision of safe and modern pontoon and landing facilities will contribute to Scotland’s Marine Tourism Strategy, helping bring more marine visitors to the area while retaining them for longer.

“The new facilities will also complement nearby tourism businesses and as a significant employer, this investment further underlines Kentallen Leisure’s role as a major economic contributor for the local area.”

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