Council set to spend £530,000 on visitor site at Skye beauty spot

Old Man of Storr (1280x708)

The Old Man of Storr        Photo: Staffin Community Trust

Residents living in north Skye are being asked to support a community organisation’s aspiration to run a visitor site near the famous island landmark the Old Man of Storr.

The Staffin Community Trust has been in talks with Highland Council – which owns an 82-hectare site from the Storr’s roadside upwards – about improving the visitor experience at the hugely-popular location.

The project was boosted yesterday (Wednesday) after Highland Council agreed capital investment totalling £530,000.

Current main Storr car park Photo: Staffin Community Trust

The current main Storr car park          Photo: Staffin Community Trust

The trust’s plans could involve a new off-road main car park, toilets, interpretation and refreshment kiosk. SCT is now set to ask the community what it thinks in a major public consultation and will issue questionnaires to every household in Staffin next week.

SCT is in discussion with the council regarding the purchase or lease of all or part of the land for  community benefit. The trust see the project as a fantastic opportunity for the community to have a direct involvement at the site, potentially creating local employment and marketing Staffin and local businesses far more strongly.

Trust chairman Donald MacDonald said: “There is an opportunity here to provide a fantastic, much-needed facility that will be able to support the increasing numbers of visitors that visit this iconic attraction.”

The local authority funding will allow for significant improvements to be made to the Storr woodlands and also to make a substantial contribution to essential visitor management improvements at Storr. Councillor Audrey Sinclair, who is the chairwoman of the planning, development and infrastructure committee, said: “I certainly look forward to following with interest the ongoing talks about the proposal to give greater community involvement in the management and maintenance of the site.”