Loch Ness Hub makes £5k payment to Glen Urquhart community group as business plan on target
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A community-led business near Loch Ness has made its first payment from surplus profits to benefit the local area.
Loch Ness Hub & Travel was set up in 2020 to create a tourism and green transport hub.
Its anchor shareholder, Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association (GURCA), has now received its first payment of £5000 through its community benefit society, Loch Ness Hub Ltd.
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After being set up three years ago, the venture carried out an asset transfer and fully refurbished the visitor information centre and public toilets in the village car park in Drumnadrochit.
Following a successful community shares offer, it bought and continues to run a baggage transfer company, Loch Ness Travel, enabling luggage and people transfers for visitors walking the long distance trails in the Highlands, mainly the second most popular Scottish trail, the Great Glen Way.
Loch Ness Hub & Travel said it was delighted that despite running the share offer and opening the information centre during the coronavirus pandemic, it has met the goals of paying interest payments to shareholders and an initial payment from surplus profits back to the community – after just three seasons trading.
Carolyn Wilson who chairs Loch Ness Hub, said: "It is great credit to the community, our partners and our staff that we are in a position to meet our business plan targets.
"Loch Ness Hub & Travel provides essential and first-class services to both our visitors and Highland residents through our community owned information centre, transport hub and public toilets.
"We aim very high in terms of customer service for our luggage transfer clients, and our business is providing an exemplar of sustainable travel, both environmentally and commercially."
Susan Griffin, who chairs GURCA, said Loch Ness Hub & Travel was a project that the whole community deserved credit for.
"They invested out of their own pockets and it is fantastic to be in a position to now see a return for the community in such a short time frame," she said.
"Loch Ness Hub has been the catalyst that has culminated in our community bringing other assets into community
"It gives me great pride to accept this first payment on behalf of the community and is a fabulous first step towards our community wealth building ambitions."
Loch Ness Hub & Travel recently represented its community in the thriving communities category as finalists in the Highlands and Islands Thistle awards.