LISTEN: HIE chief says Cairngorm funding is sign of faith in the strath
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The boss of Highlands and Islands Enterprise has said funding for Cairngorm Mountain highlighted the attraction's importance as a national asset.
Charlotte Wright was commenting after this morning's announcement of more than £20m to turn round the fortunes of the struggling business.
She said: "This investment announced today recognises Cairngorm's place as a key national asset at the heart of the national park.
"It gets the mountain resort fully operational and strengthens its role as an all-year round attraction that is going to bring thousands of visitors who are critical to the wider economy of Badenoch and Strathspey."
Ms Wright said HIE had carried out a review of visitor numbers in assessment of the business case for Cairngorm and its funicular.
She continued: "We are really confident that the Cairngorm Mountain and the wider Strathspey area will continue to be a really attractive place as the national park offers so much as well as the iconic Cairngorm Mountain.
Balfour Beatty has been appointed as the contractor to carry out the repairs of the £20m mountain railway and will move on site later this month.
Ms Wright said: "Now agreement has been finalised with the contractors, they will be moving on site and getting their supply chain in place and everything for the main construction works to start in 2021.
"The work that we are undertaking with the contractor will target some some of the identified weaknesses in the structure and also look to replace certain elements as well.
"This, together with a robust and regular maintenance programme will ensure the life of the structure for many years to come."
Listen to HIE chief executive Charlotte Wright's comments on the funding go-ahead here