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Tourism (Highlands)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 26th February 2020.

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Photo of David Stewart David Stewart Labour

6. To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to support tourism in the Highlands. (S5O-04160)

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government, both directly and through its public bodies, provides significant support to the tourism sector in the Highlands.

Through the Inverness and Highland city region deal, we are providing £15 million towards the Highland Council’s redevelopment of Inverness castle into an international visitor attraction that promotes the whole Highlands, which will benefit the wider tourism economy of the area. The Highlands have also benefited from our rural tourism infrastructure fund, with 12 projects receiving funding of nearly £2.7 million out of the total £6 million allocation for the first two rounds.

Photo of David Stewart David Stewart Labour

I welcome the cabinet secretary to his new tourism brief.

Mr Ewing will be well aware of my campaign to find a new home for the iconic Ironworks music venue in Inverness, which is very popular with tourists and locals alike. Will the cabinet secretary support to the hilt the excellent work that is being done by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and will he accompany me on a future visit to the Ironworks?

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I thank David Stewart for the good wishes. The offer is somewhat more unexpected, but it will be given due and appropriate consideration.

Mr Stewart has been raising that matter for some time and I know that locally that is much appreciated. I support the campaign’s aims and objectives. I am pleased that HIE has been positive, and I am very happy to work with the member in my new role to see what progress we can make and how quickly we can make it.