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Big support for community group ownership of Cairngorms' busiest campsite


By Gavin Musgrove

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Duncan Swarbrick and AGCT director Lee Bissett at Glenmore campsite.
Duncan Swarbrick and AGCT director Lee Bissett at Glenmore campsite.

There has been major support both at home and further afield for the bid by a community group to gain control of the strath’s most popular campsite.

Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust (AGCT) exclusively revealed to the Strathy earlier this week that it intends to bid for the lease of the Glenmore Caravan and Camping Park.

Since then there has been plenty of support for the attempt on social media.

The site and business were recently placed on the market on a long term 15-year lease with offers of over £315,000 being sought and with annual rent of £190,000.

AGCT’s intention is to run the campsite as a community enterprise with initial reinvestment into the site to improve facilities.

Further profits would then be used to help fund other community projects in the Aviemore and Glenmore area.

Support has come in from the Pine Marten Bar and Scran which is on the shores of Loch Morlich and helps to serve the caravan and campsite.

Owner Scott Flemming said: "Please make this happen. After a meeting the other week with some of the community trust members and locals we are 100 per cent behind this bid and believe it would be a great thing for the whole local community as well as for visitors to the area."

There has been plenty of support too on AGCT's own social media pages.

Andy Samuel said: "This is a great move and will hopefully bring the campsite back to where it was after a spell of – simply put – bad management."

Sarah Gibson posted: "I used to love this site; it was always so accommodating until it changed hands and them seemed to turn business away right and left.

"I hope the community association brings it back to its full glory. I would love to come back to stay."

Gary Todd stated: "This is really good news and I hope the tender is successful. Community owned, managed and led assets are the way forward."

Pansy Potter said: "This would be a fantastic move. Please remind Forestry and Land Scotland that they manage the land on our behalf so the community should be given a chance to say who they want to run it."

Donald Morris commented: "This is great news. It is ambitious, sensible and could be transformative."

Glenmore campsite on the shores of Loch Morlich was recently taken over by FLS which is now looking for an operator for the lease.
Glenmore campsite on the shores of Loch Morlich was recently taken over by FLS which is now looking for an operator for the lease.

AGCT chairman Duncan Swarbrick described the bid earlier this week as “a really exciting opportunity for the trust and the local community”.

He said: “Glenmore and Loch Morlich are becoming an ever more popular destination for visitors and is right in the centre of a crucially important natural woodland which is close to all our hearts,” he said.

“If our tender is successful it would provide a route for the local community to shape and influence the future of this area.

“Importantly, as a Scottish Registered Charity all income will be used to improve the facilities at Glenmore and to support other projects to benefit the community and visitors alike.

“We would continue to engage with and promote a meaningful relationship with Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Forestry and Land Scotland and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.”


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