Log cabins resort planned near Fort William5 July 2019
A key step in delivering Forestry and Land Scotland’s (formerly Forest Enterprise Scotland) 20-year, £25m Nevis Forest Master Plan was made in June, when cabin tourism company, Forest Holidays, submitted a pre-application notification to the Highland Council.
Forest Holidays, one of the partners in the project, operates 10 eco-cabin sites across the UK. As a long-term partner of Forestry and Land Scotland, with two successful locations in Scotland and one recently granted permission at Glentress, the business plans to invest £12m in a new location at Leanachan Forest, near Fort William.
The notification, which is for 50 cabins, will be followed by public consultation and drop-in sessions in mid-July, with the aim of finalising a full planning application for submission to the Highland Council planners later this year.
“There is wide-spread support for the Nevis Master Plan and what Forestry and Land Scotland is aiming to achieve,” said Bruce McKendrick, chief executive of Forest Holidays.
“We have a 45-year history of working in partnership on the public forest and successfully in developing and managing this kind of destination and in our experience, this will bring multiple benefits to the forest, local and wider community.”
Forest Holidays locations typically create over 50 full time jobs, buy in local goods and produce, and welcome guests all year round. On average, each cabin generates £30k in annual visitor spend in the surrounding area.
The proposed cabins, which provide year round accommodation, fit with the ethos of the wider Master Plan to complement the existing high quality visitor offer, and will increase footfall, dwell time and the economic contribution which the forest makes to the visitor economy.
Other elements that will follow in later years, through other partnerships, could include a proposed Hotel development, a camping/glamping offer, event parking and improvements in recreation and connectivity.