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Tomintoul & Glenlivet bid for HLF millions

7th June 2016


£3.6million worth of investment could be heading for Tomintoul and Glenlivet with the Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership having just submitted its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for finance to support regeneration projects in this special area of the Cairngorms National Park.

The bid has been led by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) with partners including the Tomintoul & Glenlivet Development Trust (TGDT), The Crown Estate, Moray Council, Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Spey Catchment Initiative, Historic Environment Scotland and the Cairngorms Learning Partnership.

The group was successful in its Stage One bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in May 2014, securing a development grant of £171,600 from the national charity through its Landscape Partnership programme. That funding – alongside £50,000 from the CNPA, £40,000 from the Crown Estate, £50,000 from HIE and significant voluntary input from the local community and other organisations – allowed for 18 months of work to be carried out to develop detailed proposals for a wide range of projects in Tomintoul and Glenlivet, that could come to fruition if the Stage Two bid is successful.

Tomintoul and Glenlivet has a distinct heritage with many colourful stories from the past. The Landscape Partnership project will use this rich heritage to promote rural regeneration and encourage more visitors to experience this distinctive and vibrant part of the Cairngorms National Park.

The vision is for the communities of Tomintoul and Glenlivet to share and celebrate the hidden heritage of the area, building on the economic regeneration already underway and significantly enhancing the landscape, heritage, skills and development opportunities in the long term. Among the projects that the Landscape Partnership aim to deliver with over £3million worth of investment, include:

  • Tomintoul Museum and Visitor Information Centre – the transformation of this local facility into a modern and inspiring venue, encouraging visitors to stay longer and explore the history, walking, wildlife, history and heritage of the area.
  • Blairfindy Castle – stabilise the structure and make it accessible to the public including a footpath to Glenlivet Distillery.
  • Dark Sky Status – the aim is to achieve this status for the area making the most of the remote but accessible location and its incredible night skies.
  • Scalan – this is the location where Catholic priests were secretly trained during the 18th century and where whisky was illicitly distilled and smuggled. The plan is to create a unique heritage destination in this location.
  • Speyside Way Spur – upgrading of this route between Tomintoul and Glenlivet providing a high level footpath linking the communities and visitor attractions.

Eleanor Mackintosh, a member of the CNPA Board said: “The prospect of an investment of over £3million in Tomintoul and Glenlivet is very exciting and if the bid is successful it will be a massive boost, not just for the immediate area, but the wider National Park. Not only can we expect new and improved facilities and infrastructure, along with other community events and projects, but we’re also going to see new job opportunities emerge. There has been a great deal of work done over the last 18 months in preparing for the Stage Two bid and I would like to thank all those involved.”

Mark Finnie Chair of TGDT said: “Tomintoul & Glenlivet Development Trust is immensely proud to be involved in such an important project for the area. The communities of Tomintoul and Glenlivet have worked incredibly hard to demonstrate the community involvement and public support that make this such as strong application. The £3.6million project presents many opportunities for new and existing businesses in the area and we look forward to a positive outcome to the application in September.”

Andrew Wells, Head of Countryside Management at The Crown Estate – Scotland Portfolio commented: “For many years we’ve worked to help build a diverse rural economy at Glenlivet Estate, working closely with the community to create business opportunities and investing in cultural heritage projects to help establish the area as a popular tourist destination. We believe that the best route to successful regeneration is to work in partnership with local organisations to deliver long-term investment. We are delighted to be involved in the Landscape Partnership bid which, if successful, will deliver many important regeneration projects, bringing direct benefits to the community of Tomintoul and boosting the tourism offer of Glenlivet Estate and the Cairngorms National Park.”

David Oxley from HIE’s Moray Area Team said that supporting communities to develop and grow is a distinctive component of HIE’s remit: “This partnership approach fully complements the aspirations set out in the Tomintoul & Glenlivet Regeneration Strategy and our existing community capacity building support to Tomintoul & Glenlivet Development Trust. The HLF bid includes an impressive range of projects, which will reinforce the area’s identity as a unique and vibrant place within the Cairngorms National Park.”

With the Stage Two bid now submitted, all the partners can do now is wait until September when the outcome will be known. However, over the summer months various events are happening to keep the momentum going including some oral history events and an information stall at the Highland Games in Tomintoul on 16th July.

For more information please visit the CNPA website