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CNPA launches new grants scheme with LEADER+

8th August 2005

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is encouraging community groups and other organisations in the Park to apply to a new grants programme that has been introduced following the success of last year’s joint ‘Communities in the National Park’ scheme, in partnership with the Cairngorms LEADER+ programme.

The ‘Integrated Grants Scheme’ has six funding streams aimed at a wide range of activities including: community capacity building; local marketing and events; local biodiversity interpretation; local interpretation planning and implementation, outdoor access and small outdoor access infrastructure and cultural heritage.

The new initiative was launched on Friday (5 August) at the Dee River Festival and Saturday (6 August) at the Newtonmore Highland Games.  Information has also been posted to community and voluntary organisations and other groups across the Park.  The new grants scheme – which has a budget of £300,000 – is open for applications now and will be in place for the next two years.

Awards will range from £500 to £4,500 in the Small Grants Programme and a Medium Grants Programme will offer awards of up to £18,000.  The grants scheme – combined with Cairngorms LEADER+ funds – in some cases will be able to provide up to 90 per cent funding.  Specific activities, such as conservation of important local species and habitats with wide community involvement in the project, and reflecting the aims of the Cairngorms Local Biodiversity Action Plan, may attract up to 100 per cent funding.

Examples of the types of projects that will qualify for support from the ‘Integrated Grants Scheme’ are: the maintenance of existing footpaths and footbridges; the installation of interpretation facilities close to the centre of communities; development worker costs; projects that will protect and enhance the natural environment, the local heritage and culture and some events.

Speaking at the launch, CNPA Board Member, Lucy Grant said: “Communities in the Cairngorms have a vital role to play in maintaining and developing the National Park and grants are one way in which we can support their skills and expertise in a good working partnership.

“Last year we set out to encourage and engage communities in their National Park and its development and this year we want to build on that and projects that are awarded funding support will help to contribute to the aims of the Park.”

Programme Manager at the CNPA Dicken Higgins, explained: “This new grants programme covers a broader range of activities and will provide greater support to communities.  Any group can apply so long as they meet the necessary criteria and are based in the Park, or the activity they seek funding for will impact on the Park.

“We would encourage all interested communities and groups to get in touch with their ideas and proposals as soon as possible.”

Patricia Hamilton, the Cairngorms LEADER+ Programme Manager said: “The Cairngorms LEADER+ Local Action Group, which is made up of 50 per cent community based groups, feel that this scheme is a very positive move forward for the communities of the area.  The Local Action Group is very happy to work with the National Park in the development of community based projects which are in support of the natural and cultural needs of the area.”

For more information on the new scheme, please contact Dicken Higgins, Programme Management Officer on tel: 01479 870527 / email: [email protected]   or Patricia Hamilton, Cairngorms LEADER+ Programme Manager on tel: 01479 870535 / email: [email protected]