Harry Potter viaduct receives funding for parking spaces
Glenfinnan Viaduct will receive nearly £270,000 to help with growing visitor numbers.
A historic Scottish landmark which features in the Harry Potter films will receive a share of a £3m funding boost to create parking spaces.
The car park near Glenfinnan Viaduct has been given nearly £270,000 from the Scottish Government's Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which will help create spaces for more than 100 cars.
The historic viaduct has featured in the movie series multiple times as the Hogwarts Express train travels across it, bringing pupils to the magical boarding school of the same name.
It is one of 18 projects to benefit from the cash to help with the demand from growing visitor numbers.
Others include £300,000 for toilet and motorhome facilities at the Old Man of Storr on Skye, and £260,000 for upgrading toilets along the banks of Loch Lomond at Luss, Tarbet and Inveruglas.
The Cairngorms National Park is being given around £270,000 for improvements to car parking, toilets and paths, and around £131,000 will be used for parking at Hoswick, Shetland, to help cope with visitors and cruise traffic.
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the £3m funding on a visit to the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
She said: "The growing popularity of our stunning natural scenery and rich historical sites is great for bringing jobs and investment to our communities, but can also put pressure on communities, services, transport and facilities - particularly in rural areas.
"This funding will help our industry keep up with the tourism boom by supporting the creation of much-needed infrastructure such as new pathways, car parks and facilities at some of our most iconic rural and natural attractions."
Highland Council councillor Allan Henderson said parking problems at Glenfinnan are "unsustainable", with "major congestion and safety issues" on the nearby A830 road.
He said: "This funding will help to ease some of that pressure with new parking for 100 cars and ten motorhome or bus spaces and will be great news for both visitors and the local community."
Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes said: "This is a turning-point for Glenfinnan.
"Thousands flock to the site to see the Hogwarts Express pass over the viaduct, as well as to visit the monument which is so steeped in history.
"Glenfinnan is where history meets make-believe, and now tourists can enjoy both in a safer environment."