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Wednesday, 18 December, 2002, 16:30 GMT
Aviemore revamp plans unveiled
Aviemore
The work is due to start in Aviemore next year
A 25m project which aims to create a world-class tourist destination in Aviemore has been unveiled by developers.

Work on the Aviemore Highland Resort (AHR) is expected to get under way in 2003 after years of delays.

It is hoped that about 200 jobs will be created with the revamp of the run-down 1960's holiday centre.

New facilities at AHR - formerly known as the Aviemore Centre - will include a pool, health spa and beauty complex, and conference, exhibition and cinema facilities.

We see Aviemore and the surrounding area as a natural hub for Highland tourism

Donald Macdonald
Macdonald Hotels

A separate 5m development on the outskirts of nearby Dalfaber will include a 100 bedroom four star hotel, championship golf course and health spa complex.

The proposals have been welcomed by Highland Council and local business leaders.

The development, which has received outline planning consent, differs slightly from a 50m masterplan approved in 1999.

The consortium involved is led by Macdonald Hotels plc and also features the Bank of Scotland and development company Teesloch plc.

Macdonald Hotels chief executive Donald Macdonald said: "We see Aviemore and the surrounding area as a natural hub for Highland tourism - one which can take its place as an international tourist destination and centre of excellence for business tourism.

'Enormous benefits'

"Quality will be the watchword and all that we create in a resort sensitive to the National Park, which will be both at doorstep and horizon.

"We believe that the completed development at Aviemore will have enormous benefits for the wider area."

He said that a "substantial" marketing campaign was planned for the area.

It is hoped that work will start on site no later than next summer.

It's very good news to know that 2003 will finally see the real dawn of a new future for Aviemore

Hamish Swan
Cairngorm Chamber of Commerce
"I would hope that by spring 2005 we will be up and running here - we do not want to do this development piecemeal," added Mr Macdonald.

Moray, Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise (MBSE) chief executive Douglas Yule said he was "delighted" that the redevelopment could now get under way.

"This project will confirm Aviemore as an outstanding resort, complementing the Cairngorm funicular as a must for visitors, and be a showpiece for the new National Park."

Highland Council convenor David Green described the announcement as "really great news".

Hamish Swan, the chairman of Cairngorm Chamber of Commerce, said: "It's very good news to know that 2003 will finally see the real dawn of a new future for Aviemore.

"This will be to the benefit of business, not just in the immediate area, but throughout Badenoch and Strathspey and the Highlands generally."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Laura Maxwell reports
"The project is expected to create 200 jobs"
See also:

10 Dec 02 | Scotland
07 Jun 02 | Scotland
25 Apr 00 | Scotland
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