Highlands and Islands Enterprise: financial management review of Cairngorm Mountain

A review of Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s handling of its engagement with Natural Retreats in relation to activity on Cairngorm Mountain.


1. Please refer to Annex C for details of the Natural Retreats group and associated companies. For the purposes of this review, Natural Retreats will be used as short-hand for the group as a whole unless referring to a specific company.

2. "Qualitative moderation is a term used in the pre-qualification questionnaire for HIE's procurement of a new operator for Cairngorm Mountain. It allowed HIE as the procuring authority to "amend the score derived from the minimum financial standing threshold test" based on additional information received from the bidder either through declarations in the submission or additional subsequent clarifications". Of direct relevance to this, the PQQ refers to "any information relating to factors that have a bearing on the financial standing of the organisation that require a more detailed explanation than is given in the information provided in response to questions 1 and 2 above".

3. To note, due to the administration of CML the audited accounts to 31st December 2018 are not available for review. Investigation by CMSL has indicated that asset additions to the end of that period could be in the region of £0.23m further increasing overall investment by CML.

4. Repair of the funicular railway is subject to the conclusion of an options appraisal and business case.


Email: enterprisesponsorship@gov.scot

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