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Major funding boost for land based business project in the Cairngorms

17th January 2006

A training project for land based businesses in and around the Cairngorms has received a bumper funding boost from the European Social Fund.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority’s (CNPA) Land Based Business Training project has been awarded £116,456 for 2006.  This compares to £113,000 for last year and £90,000 for 2004.

The project encourages those working on estates, farms, crofts, nurseries, woodlands – in fact any business related to the management of the land – to apply to the scheme which can part or fully fund training courses.

Also funded by the CNPA, the Land Based Business Training project aims to help those working in this sector to identify training needs, find trainers and influence course dates to suit the time commitments unique to land based workers.  The project has helped well over 600 individuals since it began, working for about 80 land based businesses.

Andrew Thin, CNPA Convener said: “This funding award from Europe is fantastic news and demonstrates the value that is placed on the Land Based Business Training project.  The success of the project so far, shows there is a great deal of demand for specialist training in relation to this sector.  By helping land based businesses in this way we can help them become more efficient, competitive and adaptable and of course, land based businesses have a significant role to play in helping us to deliver the aims of the Park.”

Project manager Kate Christie said: “We organise lots of different courses for land based businesses in the Park, or very close to the Park boundary.  These courses are meeting a variety of training needs including the use and maintenance of machinery, equipment and vehicles; environmental courses; IT and business skills and health and safety courses. This type of training is all part-funded, with the individual or business expected to pay towards the course. However, the project also offers free courses where the training need is seen to deliver a public benefit.  With this funding support from Europe we can confirm some of the courses already lined up for 2006, which include Wildflower Management; Water Vole Conservation through Mink Control; Woodland Management for Biodiversity and the Best Use of Signage to Promote Responsible Outdoor Access.”

For more information on the Land Based Business Training project, or to find out about up and coming courses, please contact Kate Christie or Sam Masson on tel: 01479 870535 / 537 or email: [email protected] / [email protected]