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Cairngorms National Park

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Cairngorms National Park given £12.5 million from £50 million Heritage Horizon Awards fund

13th July 2021

As part of their Heritage Horizons Awards, the National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded a package of up to £12.5 million to an ambitious landscape-scale project in the Cairngorms National Park.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority are leading the project, which brings together over 45 partners to achieve inclusive, transformational change for people and nature in the National Park. The project will tackle the climate emergency, protect and enhance biodiversity, and deliver meaningful improvements to people’s health and wellbeing.

The Cairngorms 2030: people and nature thriving together project has been awarded a possible total of £12,486,100 over the next seven years. The project will involve a wide range of partners, from NHS Highland to Deer Management Groups and local communities, working together to tackle the climate emergency and nature crisis, as well as delivering an economy that works for all. Covering over 4,500 km², the Cairngorms is the largest national park in the UK and is home to 25% of all threatened and rare species, such as capercaillie, wildcats, osprey and golden eagles.

The project will place the future in the hands of the people and communities who live and work there, as well as those who visit. It will include outdoor health programmes and the creation of a nature-based dementia centre, and will enhance nature through green finance, woodland expansion, peatland restoration, river catchment management, nature friendly farming and sustainable transport. 12 jobs will also be created in the area, with the possibility of further recruitment in later phases of the project. Cairngorms National Park Authority’s entry video for the awards is available here.

Caroline Clark, Director for Scotland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted Cairngorms National Park Authority has won this major award in recognition of its ground-breaking holistic proposal to transforming life, environment, and nature within an area so highly important to conserving and protecting Scotland’s biodiversity, and with a rich cultural heritage.

“Particularly following the pandemic, it is wonderful to see such an ambitious project connecting wellbeing and the environment, as well as bringing together so many different groups and organisations across such a huge area. Thanks to National Lottery players, we can help enable the creation of a new community-led climate emergency response in this magnificent National Park, with the people and nature of the Cairngorms at its heart.”

Xander McDade, Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said: “On behalf of the over 45 partners, community groups, land managers and voluntary organisations involved in our bid, we’re thrilled that the Cairngorms National Park has received nearly £12.5m as part of the Heritage Horizon Awards.

“We believe that it is only by communities coming together that we can tackle the climate emergency and nature crisis. This funding allows us to take forward critical work in communities and landscapes right across the National Park, from the creation of a nature-based dementia centre to citizens’ assemblies fostering local decision-making; from woodland expansion and peatland restoration to nature friendly farming, sustainable transport, green finance, and creating a well-being economy.

“Our plans are ambitious but the situation facing our country and our planet demands that we do things differently. With the help of National Lottery players, together with our many funding partners, we can now look forward to turning this transformational vision into reality.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “I am delighted that we are announcing Heritage Horizon Awards which back big ideas and unlock enormous possibilities, following a year in which we have been focused on supporting heritage through the COVID emergency.

“The pandemic has shown us all clearly what matters to us, particularly in relation to nature and climate change. This is a major priority for us as an organisation, and three of these projects will be transformational for the green environment. All five share qualities of huge ambition, significant collaboration, and the prospect of life-changing benefits for people and places deserving of support from the National Lottery. This is an exciting day for the UK’s heritage.”

The Heritage Horizon Awards were launched in 2019, thanks to funding from National Lottery players, to support ambitious, innovative, and transformational projects that will revolutionise UK heritage.

Read more on the Heritage Fund web site.