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Supporting Communities

The Cairngorms National Park is currently home to around 19,000 permanent residents, living mainly in twenty seven community settlements of various sizes, forming a necklace around the Cairngorms massif.

Map of community locations
Communities in the Park


Cairngorms Green Recovery Fund

A Cairngorms Recovery Fund has been launched to help communities and local businesses to recover from the lockdown.

COVID-19/Coronavirus Response Groups

There has already been an impressive amount of work done by local citizens and community groups to develop COVID Response Groups to help deal with the situation and take pressure off the emergency and public services. Please keep an eye on local social media channels and community websites for further details to volunteer or to obtain assistance. 

To complement this work the Scottish Government launched the National Volunteering Plan for Coronavirus on 30 March. Volunteers who want to support their communities should visit Ready Scotland to find out how they can help. 

Local information about how to help can be found at: 

26.08.14 Cairngorms Regional Event

Our communities are central to the successful delivery of the aims of the National Park as set out in the National Park Partnership Plan

Communities in the National Park

The Cairngorms National Park covers 6% of mainland Scotland and includes parts of five different local authority areas.

Typically, the relevant local authority or voluntary sector support body is the main support network for community based activity. However, The National Park Authority works closely with community bodies and organisations on a wide range of issues. It also recognises the importance of community-led projects and seeks to add value to this work through partnership agreements with local community development organisations like Voluntary Action in Badenoch and Strathspey (VABS) and Marr Area Partnership (MAP).

Whilst the Community Council is the statutory body that represents the interests of residents at a local government level, most communities also have a community development company. These are set up to take forwards initiative and projects for the benefit of the community. Increasingly, community development companies also own assets and generate income for reinvestment in their community.

Local Authorities, Community Councils and Associations

The Cairngorms National Park straddles five Local Authority Areas. Further information on specific community councils and Associations in each area is available on the respective local authority website:

The Community Councils and Associations have a particular role in consultation and engagement around the Planning system.

Community Development Organisations

The contribution of the voluntary (or third) sector is vital to the vibrancy of rural communities. The National Park works with the local third sector interface organisations to support community and volunteer led Trusts, charities and groups. Our partners in different areas of the Park are:

They can offer advice and support on a range of community development  issues including: governance, finance, project planning, training and fundraising.

Community Action Planning

Community Action Planning is a process through which a community comes together to identify issues, priorities and opportunities  which are important to them. All communities within the National Park have produced a Community Action Plan, with significant projects being delivered across the National Park have a Community Action Plan which is normally reviewed and updated on a five year cycle.


The three key rural development priorities which will guide the work of partners over the Plan period

Community Capacity and Empowerment
Community Capacity and Empowerment 
Economic Development
Economic Development 

Do you have any other questions?


Fiona McInally, Community Support Manager, tel: 01479 780400