Scotland's largest private landowner gains control of North Coast 500

Scotland's largest private landowner has gained the rights to the North Coast 500.

The 500-mile route starting from Inverness and running along some of the country's most scenic coastline was established by the Duke of Rothesay to boost tourism and the economy in the Highlands.

But North Coast 500 Ltd is now reportedly under the ownership of Wildland Ventures - the firm owned by Asos tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen.

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Who is Anders Holch Povlsen?

Glen Docherty on the North Coast 500 route in Wester Ross
Glen Docherty on the North Coast 500 route in Wester Ross

The 46-year-old Danish billionaire owns about 220,000 acres across 12 estates in the Highlands.

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Wildland is a conservation and sustainable development agency set up by Mr Povlsen.

The firm said on its website: "Through a dedicated subsidiary, Wildland Ventures, we shall increasingly seek out interesting and entrepreneurial projects with the capacity to benefit Wildland and/or the communities that we are a party of.

One of the scenic views at Torridon in Wester Ross seen along the North Coast 500 route

"A prime example is our contribution to the funding of the North Coast 500 (NC500) project, a 500-mile coastal roadway that encompasses some of Scotland's most stunning and scenic landscapes and encompasses many of the Wildland holdings."

The route heads west from Inverness to Gairloch and Ullapool before cutting along the north coast through Durness and Wisk and back to the Highlands capital.

Mr Povlsen quit Wildland as a director in July despite the agency holding the rights to the North Coast 500.

Problems with the North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 has been previously branded one of the nation's worst pothole offenders and in urgent need of additional surfacing works.

Residents and politicians have demanded action over the condition of the A896 road between Annat and Shieldaig.

Mr Povlsen and his wife and business partner Anne lost three children during the Sri Lanka terror attacks earlier this year.

Alma, Agnes and Alfred died in the attack, leaving Astrid as their only surviving child.

The Danish magnate has a fortune reportedly worth £6.1 billion.