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Full steam ahead for new Cairngorms brand

8th March 2005

A new brand identity to raise the profile of the Cairngorms National Park as Scotland’s most exciting and accessible wild place was launched on Tuesday 08 March.

Local communities, local businesses, and the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) have joined forces to launch the brand, which will be used for marketing and promotion across the Park as a whole, as well as being available for local businesses and communities to use. The brand will help to foster a sense of common identity across Britain’s largest National Park, and to present one of Scotland’s most special places in a coherent way to visitors.

With the help of 26 schoolchildren from Deshar Primary School, the launch event took place at the Strathspey Steam Railway at Boat of Garten this morning – one of the area’s many visitor attractions.

The identity was developed by design consultants Navy Blue following wide consultation with communities, businesses, and tourism bodies. The resulting image of a bird of prey and rising sun captures the freedom and grandeur of the area, while the typeface and colours represent the area’s accessibility and friendliness and the sense of opportunity of National Park status. The development was funded by the CNPA and Aberdeen and Grampian Tourist Board, with the support of VisitScotland.

The launch of the brand is part of a wider effort to raise the profile of the Park for visitors and locals alike. Over the next few weeks, interim signs featuring the brand will be erected at the major gateways coming into the Park, and displays will go into Aviemore and Grantown Tourist Information Centres.

The brand will be managed by a Brand Management Committee which will include local business, community, and recreation representatives as well as the Park Authority. It will be available for use by local businesses that are part of certain quality assurance schemes, to be decided by the Committee.

Initially the brand will be used mainly by those businesses operating in the tourism sector but the Brand Management Committee will be charged with the task of exploring how use of the brand can be rolled-out to other sectors, such as food producers and other industries in the Park.

Speaking at the launch event, Eleanor Mackintosh, CNPA Board member said: “The Cairngorms National Park is Scotland’s most exciting and accessible wild place. This brand identity captures the essence of the Cairngorms experience – the freedom and space of the environment and the accessibility and friendliness of the area. This place was made a National Park because it is so special. Helping people to understand what the Park means and enjoy their experience here, to the benefit of local communities, is a crucial part of what the Park is all about. The brand will do just that. Soon visitors will see it on signs as they enter the Park, on visitor information, and we hope in due course both businesses and communities will use it. By raising awareness of the Park, the brand will also help to make people aware of the need to conserve the environment that makes this place so special.”

Hamish Swan, Chairman of the Cairngorms Chamber of Commerce commented:
“The Chamber has always felt the creation of the Cairngorms National Park to be a big opportunity for businesses to add value. The Park brand should help local businesses, particularly in tourism and food marketing. The brand also has a strong visual identity and it will help to raise the profile of what is already a well known area. It underscores our wonderful natural environment – which is the reason why most visitors come here. The Park has been in existence for 18 months, so now is a good time to start to raise its profile and the Chamber very much welcomes this development. In the Cairngorms we have a huge range of popular visitor attractions. By using the brand to show that they are part of the Park, and by embracing the brand and the values it represents, I believe benefit will come to businesses, whether they be large or small.”

Speaking on behalf of the Association of Cairngorms Community Councils was their vice-chairman Alasdair Colquhoun, who runs a business in Braemar. He said: “The Cairngorms National Park includes a great diversity of communities – from Dalwhinnie to Strathdon, and from Braemar to Grantown-on-Spey. Each of these communities has its own distinctive identity, and one of the challenges is to start to foster a sense of common identity across the Park. The process by which the brand was created is a good example of how people can work together for the benefit of the area, and local community representatives had plenty of opportunities to get involved. This is reflected in the high quality of the result, which really expresses what the Cairngorms is about. With tourism accounting for about 80 per cent of the local economy, the more communities use the brand the more we will all benefit. And we are working to ensure that a proportion of any revenue that might be generated by branded merchandise goes into conservation projects, so that the environment will benefit directly too.”