Crowdfunder to Resurface Dry Slope

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to try to reach a £55,000 target to resurface the old Loch Insh dry slope located near Kingussie and the ski areas of Cairngorm and The Lecht in the Scottish Highlands.

Loch Insh is a family-run business offering watersports and snowsports experiences in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park.  Established in 1969, for decades it has been helping school, youth and other groups to learn outdoor sports skills with residential or day visitor options for locals and visitors alike.

“To meet the growing needs of the local community and the increasing number of visitors to the valley, we need your help to raise £ 55’000 to replace our ageing artificial ski slope with a new, extended, state-of-the-art and climate-ready facility. We are crowdfunding for this project as we have been awarded grant funding from Highland and Island Enterprise, which we need to match funds through fundraising, not revenue,” a statement from the centre explains.

The plan is to improve the slope gradient and replace the aged Dendix surface with the latest technology from Proslope to make learning safer and easier. Loch Insh also want movable freestyle features to open up the slope to more intermediate riders previously not catered for, aligning with the demands of today’s young skiers and boarders.

The centre aims to install sprinkler technology to make the surface feel as good in the summer months as it does when it’s covered with snow and if the full target is reached, install an upgraded “magic carpet” lift system to help make skiing and boarding more accessible and inclusive to all.

“The renewed dry ski slope will feed year-round grassroots ski and snowboard coaching for the whole area giving the Highlands the same access opportunities as the successful slopes in Aberdeen and the central belt, giving youngsters in the Highlands a chance to access their passion for snowsport year-round,” the statement from the centre continues.

The Freshwater family who run Loch Insh have been involved with the development of skiing and snowsports instruction in Scotland since the late ’60s; Clive Freshwater was a founding member of BASI and chairman from 1967 – 1979, helping create the foundations of the organisation it is today, training and grading snowsports instructors giving avenues into employment all over the world. Clive added the Loch Insh dry slope in 1988, which has been vital in meeting the needs of our visitors and locals as snow on the mountain has become less reliable and offers a year-round opportunity to learn snowsports.

“We plan to make this a year-round destination for local and tourism markets when this project is complete. There will be club nights for the local community, and we will carry on increasing skiing and snowboard lessons to local and UK schools and groups to inspire the next generation into snowsports. Attracting visitors to learn to ski and board will extend our season and deliver more visitors to the local areas throughout the year, securing more jobs within our business and locally as we target traditionally down times of the year from October to April, Creating memories for generations of families, educating and being climate-ready is a core part of our offer and will be at the heart of everything we do,” the statement concludes.

Those who do contribute to the crowd funder can benefit from a huge number on benefits listed on the crowdfunder page, ranging from an hour on the new ski slope once completed for a £20 contribution to a huge package of company benefits for a £15,000+ investment.

The project will receive all pledges made by noon on 31st March 2023.