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Rewarding communities for helping the Cairngorms National Park

17th April 2007

COMMUNITIES helping to protect and enhance the Cairngorms National Park are being encouraged to take part in a project that will reward their efforts.

One of the key themes of the Cairngorms National Park Plan, which sets out the long-term future of the Park, is partnership working with organisations and the public. The Community Investment Programme (CIP) will help that by bringing stronger working links with communities.

It awards grants to communities who are contributing 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.

CIP is a £203,000 project being funded and run by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) in conjunction with other partners.

Groups can be awarded up to £5,000 towards project costs.

Patricia Methven, the CNPA’s Leader+ Programme Manager and CIP project manager, said: “Communities play a vital role in the Cairngorms National Park. The work they carry out can bring substantial benefits not only to their own communities, but to the Park as a whole.

“It is important that the CNPA and our partners support those communities that are actively working to help and improve the Park.

“CIP will strengthen communities and the work they do. It will also encourage groups to look at more innovative projects and schemes for their communities. We would encourage every community in the Park to take advantage of CIP.”

Debbie Greene, Operations Manager for the Cairngorms for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), another funder, said: “Scottish Natural Heritage is delighted to join forces once again with the CNPA in funding initiatives bringing fresh impetus and creativity to local communities.

“This joint working between ourselves and the CNPA will mean funding for another range of exciting community-based initiatives in the coming financial year. This arrangement also maximises the amount of funding available to people within the Park, which is an important asset to Scotland both in terms of its natural heritage and to the economy.”

CIP, which was previously called the Integrated Grants Programme, has been running for two years. There are 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 out with peak season times;
  • Biodiversity;
  • Interpretation;
  • Outdoor access and
  • Cultural heritage

CIP is open to all voluntary groups and organisations that are governed by an elected committee and have a written constitution or company limited by guarantee. Their work must take place within the Cairngorms National Park and relate to the Park aims. Business associations whose work can deliver community benefits can also apply.

For projects up to £5,000 grants can cover up to 90 per cent of the project costs. Biodiversity grants can offer up to 100 per cent of the project costs. Larger projects can also be considered depending on available budget.

CIP is funded by the CNPA (£125,000); Scottish Natural Heritage (£55,000); Leader+ (£20,000); Aberdeenshire Council (£2,000) and Angus Council (£1,000).

For more information or to apply please contact Patricia Methven, Leader+ Programme Manager on 01479 870 543.