It has emerged that one of the principal reasons for the postponement of the Cairngorm Estate transfer is the plan to build an ‘Eden of the North’ on the site.

As reported by grough , Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which owns the estate, was due to transfer ownership to the Forestry Commission. However, it seems that Cairngorm Mountain Limted (CML), which runs the funicular railway and associated ski areas, is working on the business plan for the project.

It is understood that the plan would be to build a national centre for the mountain environment, along the lines of the Eden Project in Cornwall. CML has suffered from declining visitor numbers over the past five years as poor skiing conditions have prevailed. A mountain visitor centre would attempt to attract ‘green’ tourists.

It is estimated that the Eden Project, which was partly funded by National Lottery cash, brings in more than £100m a year to the area’s economy.