Plans to develop Scotland’s first National Park could see new £30m tourist resort
Scotland’s top tourist destination outside of Glasgow and Edinburgh, Loch Lomond Shores, is on the brink of securing a £30 million investment in a new family oriented leisure resort: ‘The Iconic Leisure Resort Loch Lomond’.
Scottish Enterprise has appointed Flamingo Land Limited as the preferred developer for its 20 hectare site at West Riverside, Balloch, in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
The developer operates one of the UK's most successful holiday resorts in North Yorkshire and sees the Loch Lomond Shores as the ideal location for their first investment in Scotland. They propose to bring forward a comprehensive masterplan for the site including lodges, a boutique hotel, hostel and glamping pods together with a range of high quality family based attractions and restaurants that are fitting with the aims of the National Park.
Flamingo Land Limited, a Scottish owned and registered company, will be looking to build on the existing success of Loch Lomond Shores which has seen visitor levels steadily increase over the last five years to 1.25 million visitors annually. The popular tourism destination has been awarded 5 star status by Visit Scotland and has just won ‘The Best Day Out’ award at the 2016 Scottish Hospitality Awards. Flamingo Land has also recently purchased the adjacent 12 Acre Woodbank site for future development.
Gordon Gibb, chief executive of Flamingo Land Limited said: “We are excited by the prospect of creating a resort in the National Park that recognises the importance and sensitivity of the site. We see huge potential on the West Riverside and view this as a fantastic opportunity to create a family oriented attraction that supports the sustainable tourism objectives of the National Park. Loch Lomond is internationally recognised and opportunities like West Riverside are rare. We look forward to working with Scottish Enterprise, the National Park Authority and the local community of Balloch as we work up our detailed proposals for the site.”
Derek McCrindle, director of growth sector at Scottish Enterprise said: “Since we developed Loch Lomond Shores in 2002 within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park it has seen significant success. Building on this, West Riverside in Balloch has the potential to generate even more long term economic benefits for Scotland not only through job creation but by securing the National Park as a key international tourism destination.
“Following a stringent bidding process, Flamingo Land’s proposal – Iconic Leisure Resort Loch Lomond - clearly aims to recognise the key sensitivities of developing within Scotland’s National Park. This, together with its strong track record in creating visitor attractions – currently home to the third most popular tourist attraction in the UK – made it the developer of choice for this opportunity.
“Over the next year the company will undertake a comprehensive range of site investigations and bring forward outline plans for consultation with the local community. By developing the proposal via this engagement, it is anticipated that the company will submit a formal planning application at the earliest opportunity and, subject to approval, works will start on the first phase immediately thereafter.”
Gordon Watson chief executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossach National Park, said: “This announcement is a very welcome development following the successful planning 'charrette' events held in Balloch earlier this year. A key point that came out of the Charrette was the aspiration in the local community to see the West Riverside developed in a way that connects Lomond Shores to the village, to make the most of Balloch as a gateway to Loch Lomond. As the Planning Authority, we look forward to engaging with the developer through the planning process, as they develop their masterplan for the site.”
West Dunbartonshire Council Leader Martin Rooney said: “This is fantastic news for West Dunbartonshire, with this major UK company planning to open its first Scottish attraction on the banks of Loch Lomond. We are committed to improving economic growth and employability across West Dunbartonshire, and this £30 million development would have a major impact on the local area. Jobs will be created and it will attract more people to visit, which will be extremely positive for the local economy. This is a key site for developing the future of Balloch and I look forward to seeing the full proposals.”
About Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park
- Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park was established in 2002
- The National Park attracts 4 million visitors each year (equating to 7 million visitor days)
- The National Park covers 720sq miles
- 50% of Scotland’s population live within one hour’s drive of the National Park
- Visitor spend in the National Park annually is £153.4million
About Flamingo Land Ltd
- Flamingo Land’s skills set are diverse and span from owning and operating a holiday resort, and theme park and Zoo
- Flamingo Land – which attracts 1.5 million per season and has become the third most popular tourist attraction in the UK.
- Flamingo Land is the founder and operator of the Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP), a science/conservation project in Tanzania
- Flamingo Land is the home of the steepest roller coaster in the world (Guinness world record 2009)
- Flamingo Land has been voted Yorkshires most "magnificent attraction in 2014 and 2015"
For more information visit www.flamingoland.co.uk
0300 013 3223