The Cairngorms has a unique rural economy which is heavily reliant on a number of key sectors, in particular tourism. In order to grow and thrive in the future we need to strengthen our economy through supporting and diversifying business, and helping people develop and train towards employment.
“The structure of the Cairngorms National Park is unique, with a distinctive mix of industries contributing to the National Park’s creation of wealth.”
The Economic and Social Health of the Cairngorms National Park, 2010
The National Park Partnership Plan 2012-2017 (NPPP) sets a clear aspiration for growth of the economy of the Park that matches the Scottish Government’s purpose. This is not growth at the expense of what makes the Park a special place. It is growth that builds on, conserves and enhances those special qualities. It is growth that supports the Park and its communities, which means in turn that we can make the most of the National Park as an asset for Scotland.
Tourism is vital to the Cairngorms National Park. It accounts for 30% of the economy (GVA) and 43% of employment. Visitors have been flocking here for centuries to appreciate the outstanding landscapes, wildlife and huge range of activities. Find out more about tourism in the Park, as well as the results of the 2014/15 Cairngorms Visitor Survey.
It is vital that the CNPA, partners, businesses and the people living in the Cairngorms National Park have access to reliable economic and social data. This information helps with planning future priorities and deciding where to target development support.
By identifying and analysing local economic trends, and comparing these with the national picture, it provides insights into the current economic ‘make-up’ of the Park and how it may look in the medium to longer term. It also seeks to examine the impact that the National Park status has had on the area’s economy.
These reports update the 2002 economic survey of the Park, and contain data and analysis on everything from forestry to housing, people and work, manufacturing to tourism, and whisky to retailing.
The Cairngorms Business Partnership (CBP) made representations on behalf of the business community to the CNPA during the consultation period leading towards the adoption of the Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan 2012-17 (NPPP). The outcome was that the NPPP identified the need for an Economic Forum and an Economic Strategy as a key priority for the Cairngorms National Park.
The Cairngorms Economic Forum, led by the Cairngorms Business Partnership, was established in March 2013 to oversee the development and implementation of the Strategy. The Cairngorms Economic Strategy was launched in October 2015.
“High speed broadband is of significant importance for the future of rural people, services and economies.” Rural Broadband – Reframing the Debate; Plunkett Foundation & Carnegie UK Trust
Good digital connectivity is increasingly seen as a basic service that is required by residents, businesses, students, visitors and the public sector. Efforts are underway to improve digital connectivity across Scotland and in particular across isolated rural areas.
CNPA is working closely with the relevant bodies to ensure that the communities and businesses of the Cairngorms National Park fully benefit from the national initiatives that are currently being implemented. These initiatives include:
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project, being led by the Scottish Government and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, bringing the next generation broadband to Scotland is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the whole of Europe.
It aims to deliver 100% coverage of next generation broadband by 2020 by connecting communities across rural and urban areas, providing a platform for future economic development and regeneration.
Anyone interested in superfast broadband rollout can keep up to date on a new Scotland wide website www.scotlandsuperfast.com being introduced by the Scottish Government.
Community Broadband Scotland
Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) is an initiative to help kick-start community-led broadband projects in rural communities. CBS has been set up to work with communities who are currently receiving speeds of less than 2Mbps, but that speed is just a cut off point for deciding which communities can be covered and there is no cap to stop projects from achieving speeds greater than that.
Community Broadband Scotland will work with each community project on an individual basis and there is no set limit on the speeds that can be achieved within a Community Broadband Scotland project.
Anyone who feels that they can benefit from this initiative can find out more by visiting www.communitybroadbandscotland.org