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Conserving our Cultural Heritage

27th April 2012

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has approved a multi-million pound complex to study and conserve thousands of items representing the cultural history of people across the Highlands and the National Park.

Meeting in Aviemore, the CNPA Planning Committee welcomed the new building at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore which will provide a modern facility they currently do not have, for staff and curators to work on restoring and looking after this nationally important collection.

CNPA Planning Committee Chairman Duncan Bryden said: “Conserving the cultural heritage of the National Park is so very important for many people and it’s great to see this huge investment by Highland Council in a high-class facility where specialists can work to achieve this, perhaps bringing new employment to Newtonmore.

“The Highland Folk Museum is already a fantastic attraction in the National Park where people can learn and feel inspired about their heritage. The new building is mainly about conservation but will also allow visitors greater access to the wonderful array of objects the museum cares for and to see how they are looked after.”

The Highland Council is investing £3.7m in the new facility to be operated by High Life Highland. The building design ensures air circulation and daylight are managed at national standards to protect fragile artefacts and new facilities like the conservation laboratory will strengthen the museum’s national accreditation. There will also be meeting rooms for visits and lectures.

Drew Millar the Chair of High Life Highland said: “The new complex is a fantastic next step in the development of the Highland Folk Museum as a regional and national hub for the conservation of our rural heritage, traditional building skills and Gaelic culture.  The new facility will enable the safe storage, conservation and availability of a huge range of nationally important collections from the smallest of household items to large agricultural machinery from a bygone era.   Visitor numbers at the Museum have been rising year on year and we see this development contributing to keeping the museum fresh and attractive to local people and visitors alike.”

The permission is subject to planning conditions including some improved landscaping. The planning report can be read in full here.