MORE than £300,000 is being invested to give Edinburgh schoolchildren better access to ski facilities and instruction.
The cash boost is the legacy of philanthropist George Boyd Anderson, who was responsible for establishing the ski facilities at Hillend, and is being distributed by the city council.
Education leaders are planning to split the £308,000 across three areas.
They plan to spend £54,000 on a “magic carpet travelator” for the new nursery slopes at Hillend, £186,000 on improving Lagganlia – the council-run outdoor education centre in the Cairngorms – and transfer £63,000 to Snowsport Scotland to support young skiers and snowboarders from Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Hillend was recently saved from closure and is to be expanded as part of a £530,000 package to attract new members and boost the number of youngsters taking part in snow sports.
The Scottish Government has also invested £400,000 to allow primary school children in Edinburgh and the Lothians to experience skiing and receive instruction at Hillend.
In return for the financial contribution, the nursery slopes at Hillend will be named in honour of Mr Boyd Anderson.
Education director Gillian Tee said: “The terms of Mr Boyd Anderson’s will leave a considerable degree of discretion as to the use of the funds, merely stating that they should be applied for projects concerned with the development of skiing at Hillend, Edinburgh and in the Cairngorm area.”
It has been decided that the Boyd Anderson Trust should also be used to vastly improve the experience Edinburgh youngsters will have during trips to Lagganlia, which was also created thanks to a donation from Mr Boyd Anderson.
The investment will be used to refurbish facilities and also mean that free or low-cost trips will be offered to looked-after children and youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The money going to Snowsport Scotland will be used for a fund to support ski instruction, offer financial support to the Lothian Ski Racing Association and award individual grants to talented young skiers and snowboarders from Edinburgh and the Lothians.
City education leader Councillor Marilyne MacLaren said: “This is the ideal opportunity to invest in these important centres and we want to ensure that as many pupils as possible get the chance to benefit.”