Cairngorms National Park

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Cash boost for Cairngorms

2nd October 2008

COMMUNITIES across the Cairngorms National Park are in line for a major cash boost with the announcement of more than £2million funding for the area.

Rural community groups are being invited to come forward now to apply for the latest round of funding to support and develop the rural economy at grassroots level.

A total of £2.17 million European LEADER and Convergence funding has been allocated to the Park through the Scottish Government. The money for projects which will improve life in rural areas will be distributed through the Cairngorms Local Action Group (LAG), a Board made up of community and public agency members.

Of this £1million is EU LEADER funding, which will be available across the Park area while the EU Convergence funding of £1.17million is restricted to the Highland and Moray areas of the Park.

Examples of local projects already supported under the Cairngorms Local Action Group include: local radio, newsletters and events; a community exhibition in Glenbuchat; a shinty coaching initiative in Badenoch and Strathspey; creating a wildlife garden at Crathie primary school; an International Junior Ranger Camp; a conference on rare aspen trees and the Creative Cairngorms and Cairngorms Hostels initiatives.

Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “This funding for the Cairngorms LAG will empower rural communities to take action to revitalise and revive remote areas, in line with the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting sustainable economic growth.

“By enabling funding decisions to be taken at a local level, we can ensure a wide variety of high-quality projects that meet local needs.”

Joyce Lyle, Chair of the Cairngorms LAG added: “This is excellent news for the communities of the Cairngorms National Park, giving us a real opportunity over the next five years to use this funding to benefit the area.

“Activities to assist those living in rural areas to gain new skills and to develop new innovative ideas, community facilities, marketing, Cairngorm-wide projects, events, festivals, environmental and land based projects can all be considered by the LAG.

“We are particularly interested in supporting young people and women in rural areas so we look forward to hearing from communities with new ideas that they would like to develop.”