VisitScotland awards £588k funding boost to Pentland Hills Regional Park
The park will benefit from new car parking, entrance paths, cycle parking and toilet facilities thanks to two separate grants awarded by the tourism organisation.
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The Pentland’s walks are popular among tourists and locals, with the number of visitors far outweighing the number of spaces available at the four main car parks: Harlaw, Threipmuir, Bonaly and Flotterstone.
The funding will see an extra 140 car parking spaces created, including more for blue badge holders, and electric vehicle charging points installed in all four car parks.
Cyclists will also benefit with additional bike stands and public bike pump and repair stations.
Three new unisex and accessible toilet facilities will be built at Bonaly, Threipmuir and Harlaw car parks and an extra set of toilets near Harlaw reservoir.
Work on both the parking and toilet facilities is expected to be completed by April 2022.
The work will also involve looking at what facilities could be provided including an eco-campsite and public conveniences to help manage the increase in use of the park.
The funding has been provided by the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund which was created by the Scottish Government in 2018 and is managed by Visit Scotland.
Convener of the Edinburgh City Council’s Pentland Hills Regional Park Joint Committee, Councillor Neil Gardiner welcomed the grant.
He said: “This funding boost is great news for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who flock to the park every year.
“Many of them travel by car and with visitor numbers increasing every year it’s been putting increased pressure on the limited parking facilities available.
“I’m sure everyone will be delighted to hear we’re going to put in an extra 140 spaces, especially local residents affected by vehicles being parked outside their homes.”
The Pentland Hills Regional park was successful in a further three further bids through NatureScot. Securing £63,992 for the addition of six seasonal park rangers in the Pentland Hills, £72,720 for the provision of temporary toilets and £29,995 for the provision of four estate workers and a supervisor to deliver rapid response and maintenance work at visitor hot spots in Pentland Hills.