January 21, 2020
Following a successful bid to VisitScotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority is investing £135,000 to upgrade visitor facilities in busy East Loch Lomond tourist destination of Balmaha this spring.
The project is part of a significant programme of investment in visitor sites around the National Park, including those recently completed at Luss, Tarbet and Inveruglas.
The upgrade work, including fully modernised toilet facilities and ‘smart bins’, will significantly improve the experience of visitors and help with improving the management of the destination.
At Balmaha Visitor Centre the toilet facilities will be reconfigured and modernised, increasing the number of toilets available and installing new paddle gates to take contactless card payments.
New ‘Bigbelly’ smart bins will also be installed at both the Visitor Centre and at Milarrochy Bay. These bins use solar power to compact litter. They also send alerts when they are nearing capacity, which will help to lessen the carbon footprint by reducing the number of unnecessary journeys made for maintenance visits.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive Officer at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “East Loch Lomond is one of the most popular visitor destinations in the National Park. It is an important tourism hub that attracts many thousands of visitors each year.
“We know that the provision of things like high quality toilets and bins can make a real difference to a visitor’s experience. We are pleased to be investing in our facilities to ensure they are sustainable for the long term and continue to match the standard expected of Scotland’s first National Park.”
To facilitate the construction works, the Visitor Centre at Balmaha will be closed from Monday 20th January until the end of March. While we recognise that closures are not ideal, this work is being scheduled to minimise impact as much as possible and will be completed in time for the start of the busy visitor season at Easter.
Notes to Editors
The project is part funded through VisitScotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
Over the last four years we’ve seen a 50% increase in visitors using our toilet facilities around Loch Lomond.
The new paddle gate system being installed at the Visitor Centre toilets will allow for contactless card payments, matching those installed elsewhere in the National Park last year. The accessible toilet will still retain a coin payment option.
Once the construction work is completed, there will be a 50p charge to use the toilet facilities at the Visitor Centre. Funds collected will go towards the continued maintenance of visitor facilities.
There will be signage on site to make people aware of the work and updates on how the project is progressing will be available on the National Park Authority’s Facebook and Twitter channels.