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Community contribution of rural businesses recognised in new awards

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Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Fergus Ewing today paid tribute to work of land-based businesses by presenting awards recognising their contribution to the community.

Lyn and Donald Forbes, proprietors of Loch Ness Shores, were presented with Scottish Land & Estates’ Highland region Helping it Happen award by Mr Ewing at the Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy.

Opened in 2013 in the village of Foyers on the loch’s southeast shore, the area occupied by Loch Ness Shores was originally part of a farm. The village was once extremely vibrant, located near an aluminium smelter which at one time employed 500 people.  After the smelter’s closure in 1967, the village went into decline but with a growing awareness that tourism provided the best opportunity for sustainable growth in an area of outstanding beauty, the family decided to diversify agricultural business and, in July 2013, Loch Ness Shores became a reality. Loch Ness Shores now boasts 5-star accreditation from VisitScotland, World Host status and a Gold Green Tourism Award.

As well as their work creating a thriving business, Lyn and Donald have made land available to Highland Council to allow the extension of the foot print of Foyers Primary School.

In addition to the award presented to Loch Ness Shore, Mr Ewing also presented an award to Ullapool High School which acknowledged their collaboration with Dundonnell Estate and other estates in the area on a partnership which introduces pupils to rural activities.

Mr Ewing also recognised the work of The Highland Communities Small Housing Trust, which received a commendation award for its work in the regeneration of the Wester Ross village of Gairloch, which includes the 20 new homes as part of the Achtercairn development.

Gordon Robertson, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates’ Highland region, said: “Lyn and Donald Forbes have played a significant role in ensuring the village of Foyers not only survives but has moved from strength to strength following an uncertain future. We are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary recognised their work and the achievements of the others who received awards today."

 

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