Rather than travel all the way to Aviemore to participate in ski-ing activities a group of prominent Orkney businessmen have come up with a novel idea for Hoy. The consortium have put forward plans to build an artificial ski slope on the iconic hills of Orkney’s second largest island.
The ski slope will also see the installation of a chair lift and visitor centre. Costs of the project are currently unknown as the proposers wish to keep all their cards hidden for the time being.
The Orkney News caught up with local entrepreneur and ski enthusiast Cygnet Swanson.
Mr Swanson said:
“Why should we travel all the way to Aviemore to take part in this growing winter sport? This is a great way to utilise the natural features of the landscape of Hoy and extend the tourist season. It’s a no brainer.”
Wildlife and environmental groups have already indicated that they intend to object to any construction on Hoy.
Mr Ray Ven commented:
“The protection of wildlife and preservation of the landscape is our prime concern. that may make us unpopular with local business types but so be it.”
The proposals which have yet to go to the Planning Committee have already received a mixed feedback with some campaigners vowing to launch an online petition should they get the go ahead. The visitor centre and accompanying facilities would see employment for up to 43 people. The consortium have agreed to an environmental impact assessment to be carried out at a cost of £11,205.
Reporter: Fergus Graemsay