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Residents to benefit from Cairngorms National Park Authority funding pledge

10th August 2007

THE Cairngorms National Park Authority is to fund training courses which skill residents and businesses in the Park’s aims for a further three years.

The future of the Land Based Business Training Project (LBBTP) and Cairngorms Awareness and Pride (CAP) was secured until 2010 after the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) board agreed to continue with the funding at a meeting on Friday (August 10th) in Laggan.

The LBBTP offers training to land-based business in the Park to help them become more sustainable and economically viable as well as learn skills that will help them to deliver the Park’s four aims: 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.

The CAP project promotes, teaches and trains residents in areas that are central to the Park’s aims and special qualities. The projects not only train the Park’s residents and workers in key skills, but are also helping to achieve a number of the Priorities for Action in the National Park Plan, which sets out the short and long term future, particularly integrating public support for land management; making tourism and business more sustainable and raising awareness and understanding of the Park.

David Green, the CNPA Convener, said: “These courses have proved to be extremely successful and popular and the CNPA board is delighted to continue funding them.

“The CNPA is actively encouraging learning and good business within the Park and responding to demands from its land managers. These courses are encouraging and increasing the capacity and confidence of residents and bringing about viable businesses.”

Claire Ross, the CNPA’s Education and Inclusion Manager, said: “Funding these projects for a further three years will bring major benefits to both residents and businesses.

“It is vital we support and encourage a skilled work force in the area, one that can help the businesses within it to be a success. These projects will deliver that. They will also encourage people to learn more about the area and to become a key part in the work to conserve and enhance the Park.

“We hope people will continue to take part in the courses and would encourage people to contact us to find out what courses they can take part in.”

Since the CNPA took over the managing of LBBTP in 2004 the number of businesses to benefit has increased from 64 to 225 and the number of people taking part has increased from 419 to 784.

The LBBTP offers both commercial and public benefit courses. Commercial courses include health and safety; customer care; management development and use and maintenance of machinery. Public benefit courses offer training in areas aligned to the Park’s four aims.

Funding comes from a number of partners including the European Social Fund and local enterprise companies.

The CAP project was launched in January of this year as a pilot scheme and has proved a real success with figures up to July showing the 17 courses had drawn 229 participants.

The courses offered include woodfuel; tick and lyme disease; organic gardening; solar power and moorland and management.

The CAP project is funded by the CNPA and Awards for All. The CNPA finance committee will determine its level of financial contribution to the courses at a future committee meeting.

For more information on the projects or on the courses being offered please contact Kate Christie or Sam Masson on 01479 870535/7 or email [email protected] or [email protected]