The conservation and heritage charity for the
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

News

Arrochar Community Hydro Society

Wednesday, June 14 2017

The communities of Arrochar and Tarbet, and Luss and Arden, are going to be given the opportunity to be a part of a community hydro scheme. Local residents and renewable energy supporters nationwide will have the option of purchasing a stake in the scheme, from £250 to £100,000.

The 123kw hydro plant will be located above the village of Arrochar and will be a run of river scheme. The electricity generated will be sold onto the National Grid. Income generated will be conveted to the Community Development Trusts for ongoing projects and future community benefit with a proportion returned to members as share interest.

The Arrochar and Tarbet and Luss and Arden Development Trusts are working alongside Community Energy specialists Energy4All, Local Energy Scotland and Luss Estates to develop this project.

The Arrochar Community Hydro scheme was initially proposed by Luss Estates as a means to enable local Development Trusts to generate income to reinvest in their communities. The river and surrounding land on which the scheme will be developed is leased for a peppercorn rent by Luss Estates to Arrochar Community Hydro.

Luss Estates Chief Executive, Simon Miller, said: "Luss Estates is delighted to have initiated this scheme and to be able to support the Development Trusts in this project which will serve to generate income for the local communities in an environmentally friendly scheme. We have worked closely with both Development Trusts to bring the project to this stage and will continue to support them moving forward. Luss Estates is committed to supporting the local economy, communities and protecting our stunning natural environment and this project is an excellent example of this commitment."

Director of Arrochar and Tarbet Development Trust, Duncan MacLachlan has been working with other community members to bring a small hydro project to the area for a number of years now. He said: "It's great to see the hydro scheme is finally going ahead. The Arrochar Hydro concept results from two communities working in partnership - Arrochar and Tarbet and Luss and Arden Development Trusts. The scheme was offered a CARES loan in March 2015 and planning consent granted in July 2015. The scheme faced a number of challenges since inception, however with considerable help from Energy4All, Local Energy Scotland and Luss Estates we are now in the position to launch the share offer."

David McCowan of Luss and Arden Development Trust commented: "This project will create a sustainable financial base to benefit future generations within our communities."

Triple boost for Callander as community projects are awarded grants by Friends

Wednesday, May 31 2017

 

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, have awarded a total of £2,400 to three important community led projects in Callander area.

 

The innovative Trossachs Mobility initiative has been awarded a £500 grant to help visitors and locals with mobility issues to access the countryside around the Trossachs more easily and the funds will be used to support the opening a shop/info point and the purchase of more trikes. These all-terrain vehicles can be hired by visitors in order that they can access some of the more challenging local areas, while guided tours are also arranged.

 

Also benefiting from the charity’s support for the third year in a row is the successful Callander Summerfest, coordinated by Callander Community Development Trust with support from a range of local groups. This festival has gone from strength to strength as a key part of the July Callander events programme over recent years. The two-week festival has received a £400 grant.

 

The Callander Landscape Partnership, which is currently finalising its stage 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been awarded a funding pledge of £1,500 over a three-year period to help with a raft of projects to capitalise on the stunning landscape setting and rich cultural and natural heritage of the Callander area.

 

The funds have been raised through the pioneering Friends of OUR park project, which since being launched in 2010 has contributed tens of thousands of pounds towards a wide range of projects throughout the National Park. The money is raised by more than 100 businesses who collect voluntary visitor donations via donation canisters or optional donation mechanisms on meals or accommodation.

 

Friends Trustee and Callander Community Development Trust Town Co-ordinator Sheila Winstone (left) presents a cheque to Wayne Johnson of Trossachs Mobility (second left), while Callander Community Development Trust Secretary Anne Docherty (second right) receives a cheque from James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends (right).

 

James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said: “Projects like these are part of helping people to enjoy Scotland’s first National Park and we have no hesitation in supporting these initiatives which will make a real difference on the ground.

 

‘’People of all abilities should be able to enjoy the scenery of the park and it is great to see a project being implemented that enables mobility issues to be addressed in imaginative ways. Summerfest, meanwhile, has been a real asset to Callander since its inception and we equally are pleased to support it for another year. We are also pleased to support the Callander Landscape Partnership which should help to strengthen Callander’s credentials as the Outdoor Capital of the National Park.”

 

Wayne Johnson of Trossachs Mobility said: “We welcome the support from the Friends as we seek to grow the reach of our mobility initiative which is designed to make a difference to the lives of those who live in or visit Callander and wider Trossachs area but find it more difficult to get about in the great outdoors. It is also encouraging that this funding is coming from visitors through donations via local businesses and I would encourage more businesses to come on board to support the Friends fundraising efforts.’’

 

Sheila Winstone, Town Co-ordinator of Callander Community Development Trust, and also a Trustee of the Friends, said: “I’m pleased so many worthwhile local projects are being supported by the Friends. All these projects in their own way are helping to strengthen the appeal of the Callander area as an attractive place to visit and stay.’’

Prestigious National Park awards announced for trio for helping to make a real difference on Loch Lomondside

Friday, May 19 2017

 

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, has recognised the outstanding voluntary and selfless contributions made by a long-serving East Loch Lomond community champion, a Loch Lomond-based journalist and photographer, and a founder of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company towards enriching the special qualities of the National Park for the benefit of visitors and local residents.

 

At the charity’s recent annual general meeting, awards were given to former Buchanan Community Council secretary Joe Twaddle, Paul Saunders, who runs his media and photography business around Loch Lomond, and John Beveridge, who is one of the main driving forces behind the restoration of the Maid of the Loch steamship at Balloch Pier. All three were recognised as having made an enormous difference to the visitor experience in the National Park in recent years.

 

The award winners and presenters. From left: James Fraser (Chairman, Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs); Paul Saunders (Business Supporter of the Year Award Winner); Joe Twaddle (Hannah Stirling National Park Award Winner); Ross Anderson (Chairman, Scottish Campaign for National Parks); John Beveridge (Volunteer of the Year Award Winner); Willie Nisbet (Vice-Convener, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority) and John Urquhart (Vice-Chairman, Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs).

 

Joe Twaddle, who runs Passfoot Bed and Breakfast in Balmaha with his wife Betty, was given the third Hannah Stirling National Park Award in recognition of his hard work, commitment and outstanding service over many years to the well-being of East Loch Lomondside. Joe, who originally came to live in the area 50 years ago to work at the University Field at Rowardennan, had served as secretary of Buchanan Community Council for 37 years before standing down last year. His work in this role included contributing to a number of successful initiatives including sensitive wood extraction and haulage from the area; working with the National Park Authority on the introduction of successful camping byelaws; securing the former toilet block site in the centre of Balmaha for a village green improvement scheme and campaigning for much needed affordable housing in the village. He continues to be an active member of East Loch Lomond Community Trust, which is currently progressing plans to improve Balmaha Village Green. The Hannah Stirling National Park Award was established by the Friends in 2015 in honour of its late former President.

 

At the award ceremony Joe said: “East Loch Lomond has been part of most of my life and helping to keep it beautiful as part of Scotland’s first National Park is a pleasure to me. I am therefore delighted to pick up this award for simply doing something that I enjoy and am determined to keep doing for as long as possible. East Loch Lomond is a key area in the National Park and, with the help of many others, the Community Trust will continue to work towards its goals.”

 

The National Park Business Supporter of the Year award went to Paul Saunders, in recognition of his contribution to the success of the Tom Weir’s Loch Lomond Wonderland project and the Friends of OUR park scheme. The Tom Weir’s Loch Lomond Wonderland project saw the production of an innovative, eye-catching and colourful booklet and exhibition telling the story of the broadcaster’s life and featuring contributions 300 local primary schoolchildren, which was co-ordinated by Paul. He has also been a business supporter of the Friends for several years, making monthly contributions to the fundraising Friends of OUR park project, and assisted with other schemes including the Celebrating Park People and their Stories programme in 2013.

 

Paul said: “It is strange to be on the other side of the camera, but a great honour to be recognised in this way. The projects the Friends have involved me in have been a pleasure to be part of, and most recently the Tom Weir’s Loch Lomond Wonderland booklet has made an excellent contribution towards visitors to the area. The Friends are going to continue to work for people and nature in Scotland’s first National Park and it’s something I’m keen to be a part of to the greatest extent possible.”

 

Last but by no means least, the Friends recognised the tremendous voluntary efforts of John Beveridge, who for the past 35 years has been at the helm of the efforts to get the Maid of the Loch sailing again. John, of Helensburgh, has been involved with the Maid since 1982 when she was advertised for sale. Ten years later, when the Maid owners were placed into liquidation John, who at the time was a Director at Dumbarton District Council, persuaded the local authority to buy the boat. He then helped set up the Loch Lomond Steamship Company in 1995, and since then the Maid has been refurbished and become a popular static tourist attraction, with the pier rebuilt and the slipway restored. As voluntary project manager working with a number of consultants, John has also recently managed to secure significant funding pledge towards this cause from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

 

John said: “Ever since that day in 1982 I have been determined to ensure that the Maid of the Loch can operate to the best of her ability, and it is a determination I will retain for many years to come. The interest shown in the Maid every year shows how vital it is that she is maintained, and that every avenue is explored for improvement. I am delighted that I have been recognised in this way by the Friends, and I am looking forward to continuing our successful relationship.”

 

Friends Chairman James Fraser said: “These three award winners are fully deserving of their recognition and we are delighted for every one of them, as they have helped make a real difference on the ground and have contributed to making the National Park a better place for people to enjoy. We had no hesitation in deciding that all three should receive these awards and we hope they will continue to make contributions to enriching the National park with the many hundreds of volunteers who are active with the Friends and other bodies throughout Scotland’s first National Park.”

Loch Lomond cruise operator receives boost towards new educational resource

Friday, May 19 2017

 

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, have helped a major cruise operator on the loch with the development of a new educational resource to enrich the experience of its passengers, particularly student groups.

 

Cruise Loch Lomond recently launched its new education pack, which provides background information about the history and environment of the Loch Lomond area. The Friends supported the development of the resource pack by contributing text and editing expertise as part of its current ecotourism project. The Friends also contributed £250 towards its production through a grant funded by the Friends of OUR park programme, which sees businesses from all over the park contribute financially through visitor donations. Cruise Loch Lomond is a member of the programme and is also a direct business supporter of the charity.

 

The educational material will be widely used within Cruise Loch Lomond’s student tours and will focus on key points including Scottish and local history, geology, environment and biodiversity, as well as clan culture, land use and tourism. It will be available in both paper and electronic form and is viewed as an important resource in enhancing the ecotourism product in the area.

 

John Urquhart, Vice-Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said: “We are delighted to support this venture and see it as an important part of our ecotourism project, which already has come on leaps and bounds since it started at the beginning of 2017. Cruise Loch Lomond have long been big supporters of what we do to help improve Scotland’s first National Park and when they came to us with this idea, it was an easy decision to get involved.”

 

Stuart Cordner of Cruise Loch Lomond added: “This funding is very much appreciated and shows just how strong our relationship is with the Friends. We are passionate about promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism in the National Park and this resource will definitely help visitors better understand and appreciate the many qualities of our wonderful natural environment and how important it is to cherish and look after it.”

Funding boost for lochside village green project and storyboards

Wednesday, May 3 2017

 

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, has stepped in to assist a lochside community group’s plans for improving the village green in the centre of the popular tourist village of Balmaha with a grant of £1,500.

 

East Loch Lomond Community Trust is well underway with landscaping the former derelict village toilet block site with attractive boundary stone walling, paths and seating areas to create a focal point in the heart of Balmaha. They also have plans to install three storyboards featuring the nearby Highland Fault Boundary and Loch Lomond

 

The grant from the Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme will help fund some landscaping work and the new storyboards which are designed to complement the adjacent Tom Weir’s Rest site that has been transformed in recent years.

 

The Friends of OUR park project has been operational since 2010 and has raised substantial sums for a wide range of projects in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park area.

 

John Urquhart, Vice-Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said: “We are delighted help the efforts of the East Loch Lomond Community Trust to improve the Balmaha village green as part of a wider village enhancement scheme.  We consider this is a great way of using funds raised from visitors by local businesses such as the Oak Tree Inn as projects of this nature are of benefit to local residents as well as helping to ensure visitors get more out of their stay.’’

 

Joe Twaddle, of East Loch Lomond Community Trust, said: “Funding from sources like the Friends is essential to projects like ours and we very much appreciate their help and support. Balmaha is growing in popularity and it is important we improve the public realm to present the village in the best way possible and keep it attractive.

 

“As well as the Friends, we wish to thank the thousands of visitors who have supported the Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme and the participating businesses, without whose efforts and generosity the funding would not have been available.”

 

For more information on the Friends of OUR park project, call 01389 727761, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.lochlomondtrossachs.org.uk

Award-winning BLiSS art trail secures signing funding support

Wednesday, April 26 2017

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, have awarded a £1,000 grant to provide signing for the award-winning BLiSS Art Trail. The trail links a series of impressive art installations between the villages of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans (BLiSS - with the “i” standing for tourist information and innovation).

 

The Loch Earn Tourism Information group (LETI), who successfully launched the trail last year to wide acclaim, is seeking to install signage in order to recognise artists who have contributed to the exhibits on the BLiSS trail. Twenty-four artworks will be highlighted as part of the signing scheme and a promotional drive led by LETI to provide a further boost to the local tourist industry.

The trail has already won a prestigious Thistle award for its ‘Working together for Tourism’ project that involved businesses across a geographically dispersed area collaborating to deliver an appealing tourist trail that successfully combines art features and stunning landscapes.

The grant for the latest phase of works has come from the Friends of OUR park visitor-giving scheme and will cover the cost of purchasing and installing robust signs to ensure appropriate interpretation is situated alongside each artwork.

The Friends of OUR park visitor giving project has raised tens of thousands of pounds for projects all over Scotland’s first National Park in recent years and is supported by 100 local tourism businesses.

James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said: “The BLiSS trail has already been very well recognised with its award, but to the credit of Loch Earn Tourism Information, they want to build on this success with further improvements to ensure visitors get more out of their visit to what is a very special scenic area in the National Park. We are very pleased to support this great local initiative which is going from strength to strength.’’

Kim Proven, Chair of Loch Earn Tourism Information, said: “It is vital for us to have funding available in order to take on projects like this and we are extremely grateful to the Friends for their support. We are delighted that the BLiSS trail has already been recognised with a regional Scottish Thistle Award but we must keep working to ensure it remains an iconic attraction in this beautiful part of Scotland. Work on the evolving trail – including two new installations planned for 2017 – will continue to promote the area in a positive manner and boost the local economy.”

Tom Lewis, owner of Monachyle Mhor hotel in Balquhidder Glen, has been one of the major supporters of the Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme and his guests have contributed over £3,000 to local projects from donations collected at the hotel through a mechanism on their bills.

He added: “It is a pleasure to see our guests’ generosity contributing to worthwhile and practical projects like this. We are delighted to support this sort of scheme and we applaud Loch Earn Tourism Information for their efforts in creating a popular and quirky tourist trail. I would encourage other local businesses to join the Friends of OUR park scheme and to get in touch with the Friends – you can see just what a difference your support makes.”

For more information on the Friends of OUR park project, call 01389 727761, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.lochlomondtrossachs.org.uk

Recognition for lochside hotels after major fundraising effort for National Park projects

Thursday, April 13 2017

 

Three family owned hotels around Loch Lomond have been recognised for their tireless fundraising work after raising an impressive £42,000 between them over the past six years as part of the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs charity’s innovative OUR park visitor giving scheme.

 

The Lodge on Loch Lomond Hotel, in Luss, has raised £18,300 in contributions from visitors while the nearby Inn on Loch Lomond, at Inverbeg has collected £9,700 and the Oak Tree Inn at Balmaha has raised £14,000.

 

These sums have been generated from opt-in donations by guests staying overnight and restaurant customers at the hotels in the knowledge the funds raised go towards supporting a range of heritage, conservation, access and public safety projects throughout the National Park for the benefit of visitors and local residents enjoyment of this special place.

 

Recent projects that have been supported with grants from the Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme include improvements to paths around the loch, the production of paths leaflets, the roll out of public access defibrillators at popular sites, Tom Weir’s rest and viewpoint at Balmaha and children’s play areas at Balloch and Luss. Hundreds of disadvantaged youngsters have also been sponsored on activity days out and short breaks in the National Park as a result of the funds generated through the visitor giving scheme.

 

Friends Chairman James Fraser recently presented commendation certificates for display at each hotel to Niall Colquhoun, owner of the Lodge and Inn on Loch Lomond, and Oak Tree Inn proprietor Sandy Fraser. Smaller versions of these certificates will also be included in welcome packs in each room at the two hotels so that visitors are aware of how much has been raised and what projects have been supported.

 

James Fraser said: “The amounts that these hotels have raised as part of the Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme has been nothing short of remarkable and it simply would not be possible to support so many worthwhile projects in the National Park without the commitment of these hoteliers and their staff.

 

‘’We rely heavily on this sort of support from around 100 businesses in and around the National Park and they all deserve our sincere thanks as do their many thousands of visitors who are helping us to make a real difference to make the National Park a better place for people and nature with the delivery on many practical projects on the ground working with local communities.’’

 

Niall Colquhoun said: “We are only too glad to try to help locally based projects in the National Park which are in need of financial support, and the Friends of OUR park scheme has been an excellent way for us to do this. We wish to thank all customers and guests who have made contributions to our fundraising while we have been part of this great initiative led by the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs.’’

 

Sandy Fraser said: “We are extremely honoured to be recognised by the Friends in this way and are only too glad to support their efforts to make a difference in the National Park. It would not have been possible to raise these funds without the support of our customers over the years, who have given willingly to ensure that many local projects can be supported. Thanks to each and every guest and restaurant customer who has donated – you can see from the range of projects supported by the Friends just how important your generosity is.”

Ecotourism Seminars Being Held Across National Park

The Friends are organising a series of seminars to raise awareness of the benefits ecotourism can have on tourism businesses in the wider national park area. These seminars are part of the Friends’ exciting new ecotourism initiative and are open to all tourism related businesses in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and Clyde Sea Lochs areas.

The seminars are being delivered together with Dr Kathy Velander, Director of the Centre for Ecotourism and Wildlife Management at Edinburgh Napier University, and will highlight the outstanding resources that are available in the area and how businesses can capitalise more on the ecotourism potential on their doorstep. Businesses can develop a better understanding on what it means to be located in and around Scotland’s first national park and help their customers connect with the area’s natural environment and inspiring landscapes.

Jared Bowers, Ecotourism Project Manager for Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, said,

The beauty and sheer diversity of landscapes are at the heart of the tourist appeal of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and the Clyde Sea Lochs. These seminars are a unique opportunity for tourism businesses to learn some practical tips on how to promote local ecotourism experiences to their customers to enhance and extend their stay.

When and Where:

  • Monday, 24th April – Killin (Bridge of Lochay Hotel)

  • Tuesday 25th April – Luss (Lodge on Loch Lomond)

  • Thursday 4th May – Callander (Callander Youth Hostel, 7pm to 9pm)

The cost is £10 per person, which includes lunch and an optional ecotourism activity in the afternoon. To find out more or to reserve your spot, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01389 727761

200,000th visitor to Tom Weir Statue site

Tuesday, February 7 2017

Just over two years after the unveiling of the Tom Weir statue at Balmaha Bay a staggering 200,000 people have now visited the site to pay homage to Scotland’s most popular mountain man. Tom Weir is credited with introducing several generations to Scotland’s great outdoors, and the wonders of Loch Lomond in particular, through his prolific writings and numerous TV and radio broadcasts over a 50-year period.

At a special ceremony to mark the occasion Cllr Graham Lambie presented the 200,000th visitor Emma Hamilton from Peebles with a DVD featuring the TV series On Weir’s Way, fronted by David Hayman. Emma also received a gift voucher for dinner, bed and breakfast for two at the Oak Tree Inn overlooking the site by proprietor Sandy Fraser who also played an important role in transforming the site which now houses the statue and is known as Tom Weir’s Rest.

The Tom Weir Memorial Fund and the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs worked jointly to raise almost £150,000 to transform the former run down picnic site at Balmaha Bay which is now the popular home of Tom Weir’s statue and the recently created Tom and Rhona’s Mountain Garden.

Commenting on the success of the site Cllr Lambie said: “I am pleased Stirling Council was able to lease the site at Balmaha to the Friends and provide small grants from our community grant scheme for such a worthwhile project. I am impressed with what has been achieved here with the creation of a very popular and quality heritage visitor attraction which is a fitting tribute to Tom Weir in a stunning lochside location.”

James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends said: “We are delighted with the success of the site which has far exceeded our expectations and we are grateful for the support we have received from Tom’s widow Rhona, Stirling Council, the National Park Authority, Heritage Lottery Fund, Sandy Fraser and the many thousands of ordinary people who responded to the public appeal for funds to help deliver this project.”

He added: “It is very encouraging following the installation of donation posts last year that thousands of pounds in donations from visitors have been raised to assist with the hefty annual insurance for the statue and the ongoing maintenance of the site by our local contractor, Alexander Fraser and Sons.”

Susan Taylor, Administrator for the Tom Weir Memorial Fund added: “We have come a long way since it was first mooted there should be a statue to honour Tom’s contribution to enthusing people about Scotland’s great outdoors and I am delighted the statue and the associated mountain garden and story boards at Balmaha are proving to be so popular with people from all walks of life. I am also delighted that the Tom Weir’s Loch Lomond Wonderland initiative helped engage hundreds of schoolchildren around the loch in the production of an attractive booklet and supporting exhibition.

“This would not have been possible without a hard working group of volunteers and the considerable help of many others, including the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, who stepped in to handle grant funding bids and coordinate the delivery of the project.”

Award for Love Loch Lomond

Tuesday, January 31 2017

 

Destination Organisation Love Loch Lomond is the first winner of £300,000 from the Scottish Enterprise Tourism Destination Development Fund, an annual competition for ideas that will grow businesses, increase spending and support innovation.

 

Love Loch Lomond, a business and tourism partnership, was successful after convincing Scottish Enterprise its ideas had the energy and fresh approach to make a significant impact on the sector’s future. The new funding allows the partnership to deliver a step-change project for its destination.  Love Loch Lomond has partnered with Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park as well as The Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs to deliver components of the overall project.

 

Danny Cusick, Director for Food and Drink, Tourism and Textiles at Scottish Enterprise, said: “This is a true collaborative project with all the key partners coming together to focus on an exciting new opportunity in marine tourism, and help the businesses in the area capitalise on this to drive increased visitor spend in the Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs area.”

 

Scottish Enterprise was impressed by the way the organisation’s partners came together to form a strategic objective, and delivery plan. Each partner is contributing time and money, and delivering an element of the project based on its strengths.

 

By building on the key theme of marine tourism, Love Loch Lomond is moving away from general destination development activities and is instead focusing on a specific opportunity that can drive substantive impact for the region. This project work will appeal to international visitors and is exploring new methods of interacting with businesses.

 

The business and tourism partnership formed a strategy that is identifiably Loch Lomond in flavour, but where its distinct towns, villages, waterways and hills can retain their own appeal. Each area can be capitalised on, with businesses tapping into the identity, enhancing visitors’ experience.  The partnership’s vision is to use the destination more effectively. Love Loch Lomond wants visitors to enjoy a more rounded experience, for example, encouraging them to stay longer and explore more of what’s on offer. This will encourage businesses to help each other and attract new custom.

 

The project will help businesses to increase their knowledge of industry trends, complementary offers and experiences. The funding will pay for partners to develop their expertise through workshops and new information-sharing resources. There will also be help for businesses to improve their use of digital methods to attract visitors, including training events and access to a web portal where businesses can share what they learn.

Karen Donnelly, Love Loch Lomond Destination Manager said: “We named our bid ‘Collaborating for Success’ as partners and businesses had been working separately and realised they would have a better chance of maximising opportunities for businesses if they joined efforts. Better dialogue put people at the forefront – both in terms of delivering services and using them”.

Karen explained: “The award means that Love Loch Lomond and its partners can continue to grow and assist the tourism industry to raise standards and encourage growth. We are dedicated to working to capitalise on the area's tourism potential and to enhance the visitor experience. This work would not be possible without the assistance of the Scottish Enterprise, Tourism Destination Development Fund.”

Charlie Croft, Tourism Adviser at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park said: “Visitors to the National Park expect a world class experience and continuous investment is essential to keep up with this expectation.  We will be working with businesses and partners to develop new tourism products and services whilst carrying out destination specific research to ensure our industry is well informed and able to respond to changing behaviours and trends.”

James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs said: “This funding boost will enable us to roll out an ecotourism initiative that helps tourism businesses to capitalise more on the special natural heritage qualities of the National Park and the Clyde Sea Lochs that has not been possible before and this should help to more strongly position the area as a must visit destination in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.’’