Funding boost for Hoswick parking hub

A ‘PARKING hub’ which would also feature an electric vehicle charging point and an outdoor seating area could be created in Hoswick to alleviate traffic congestion when tour buses head to the village’s visitor centre.

A ‘PARKING hub’ which would also feature an electric vehicle charging point and an outdoor seating area could be created in Hoswick to alleviate traffic congestion when tour buses head to the village’s visitor centre.

The plans have been given a funding boost of over £130,000 from the Scottish Government’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which aims to support projects in meeting the demands of growing visitor numbers.

The team behind the proposal are also hopeful of securing money from the Scottish Land Fund to buy the site, which is located directly opposite the visitor centre.

The Hoswick Visitor Centre has become a popular stop-off point for cruise ship coaches and their visits are only set to become more common next year as a greater number of liners drop by Shetland.

Proposed parking hub - SICThe proposed parking hub, which can be viewed on Shetland Islands Council’s planning website.

The proposed parking hub, which can be viewed on Shetland Islands Council’s planning website.The hub, if given planning permission, would see 12 parking spaces built opposite the centre.

The total cost of the project is set to amount to around £185,000 and it is hoped that the hub would be ready for the next cruise ship season in 2019.

There would also be interpretive boards in addition to a seating area and an electric vehicle charging point.

Project manager Neville Martin said there have been “well over 20,000 visitors this year” to the visitor centre.

“We sometimes get three tour buses here…manoeuvrability space is very restricted,” he said.

Martin added that the visitor centre is also hoping to undertake internal refurbishment too.

Other attractions in Hoswick include the Woollen Mill and the Neilanell Design Studio.

Scottish Natural Heritage chief executive Francesca Osowska, meanwhile, visited Hoswick earlier this week as part of a tour around the organisation’s office areas.

She took a cycle along the new shared Hoswick to Stove pathway which opened in May, as well as stopping by the visitor centre

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