Date lodged: 21 November 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact of the North Coast 500 on tourism and infrastructure, and how best the route can be used to develop these.
Answered by: Ben Macpherson 28 November 2018
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), who chair the North Coast 500 working group established to support communities and business along the route, commissioned a baseline assessment of the impacts of the route, published in 2017. Initial evidence demonstrated that business trade was up 10-20% with a corresponding increase of around 200 new jobs. A further update of these impacts will be completed by HIE in December 2018. Through its workstreams, the group’s members have engaged with communities to both support tourism development plans and to identify and mitigate impacts on infrastructure, including through the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.