COMMUNITY groups that help to conserve and enhance the Cairngorms National Park are being urged to sign up for a grant that could fund their work before the project closes in September.
The Community Investment Programme (CIP) funds projects that contribute towards the Park’s four aims, which are: to conserve and enhance the area’s natural and cultural heritage; promote sustainable use of the Park’s natural resources; promote understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Park (including recreation); and to promote sustainable economic and social development of local communities.
Interested groups need to sign up before the application stage closes on September 28th.
CIP is funded by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), Scottish Natural Heritage, Leader+ and Aberdeenshire and Angus Councils.
Patricia Methven, the CNPA’s Leader+ Programme Manager and CIP project manager, said: “We are very keen to support the work of communities of the Park, their work is vital, bringing to the fore many exciting developments. The grants are very flexible. I would urge groups to take advantage of CIP – but they must be quick, as we would not want them to miss out! Everything from footpaths to festivals can be considered.”
Debbie Greene, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Operations Manager, Cairngorms, said: “A big advantage of the investment programme is that community groups in the Cairngorms National Park need only complete one application form to obtain financial resources from several different funders, cutting down on administration time.
“SNH is delighted to part-fund this important initiative and we would urge community groups wishing to deliver projects and minimise paperwork to apply now before the deadline.”
CIP has six priorities for grant funding for 2007/2008:
- Communities, particularly community enterprises involved in natural and cultural heritage, and low-income, youth and disability groups;
- Events and marketing, particularly projects that create links across the Park, promote the Park brand and events outwith peak season times;
- Outdoor access and
- Cultural heritage
The scheme is open to all constituted community bodies in the National Park. Their work must relate to the Park’s aims and bring wider community benefits. For projects up to £5,000 grants can cover up to 90 per cent of the costs. Biodiversity projects can receive 100 per cent funding. Larger projects can also be considered depending on available budget.
To be eligible for funding projects must reach completion by mid-March 2008 at the latest.
Projects already funded this year include Dramin Festival in Newtonmore; mountain bike coaching in Aviemore; a book day in Nethy Bridge; forest school training in Finzean; a sculpture at the Lecht and a wildlife garden, pathworks and bridge construction in Braemar.
For more information on CIP contact Patricia Methven on 01479 870543.