Scottish Canals is seeking a new business partner to help develop and operate world-class holiday accommodation along the nation’s historic inland waterways.
From five-star holiday lodges on the majestic Caledonian Canal in the heart of the Highlands to bothies on the banks of ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’ – the Crinan Canal in Argyll – and alternative accommodation on the bustling Forth & Clyde and Union Canals in the central belt, it’s hoped that the partnership will play a major role in the continuing development of the tourism offer on the nation’s canals, which already attract 22 million visitors each year.
Caring for 137 miles of historic waterway, 825 hectares of land – the equivalent of 2,000 football pitches – and more than 90 buildings, Scottish Canals has a range of opportunities for prospective accommodation developers, investors and operators all over the country. The canal custodians, whose previous projects include the redevelopment of historic lighthouses and former lock keepers’ cottages, are especially keen to work with businesses with an ecological bias or award-winning pedigree.
Scottish Canals aims to encourage even more holidaymakers from home and abroad to explore everything the nation’s waterways and the communities on their banks have to offer in the years to come. Interested businesses are urged to contact Scottish Canals for more information, with all formal submissions to be made through the Scottish Government’s procurement portal.
Once the transport arteries that stoked the fires of the Industrial Revolution, today Scotland’s canals are home to cyclists and cafes rather than coal scows and Clydesdale horses. In the last decade, Scottish Canals has spearheaded more than 170,000 square metres of canalside development, generating £150 million in economic impact and creating world-renowned tourism destinations such as The The Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures, and Fort Augustus and the new Caledonian Canal Centre at the head of Loch Ness.
Businesses interested in the opportunity should submit their proposal via www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk