A Cairngorms Recovery Fund has been launched to help communities and local businesses to recover from the lockdown.
Agreed by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) Board last week and by the Cairngorms Trust’s Board on Tuesday, the £130,000 fund will be used to support projects that will create economic growth, create jobs, protect nature and address climate change, and directly benefit the local communities where they are taking place.
There are a number of Scottish and UK National Funds to support COVID19 recovery but the Cairngorms Recovery Fund will be exclusive to projects within the Cairngorms National Park who may not be able to receive funding from national or regional schemes.
The fund is made up of £100,000 from the CNPA and a further £30,000 from the Cairngorms Trust and has four guiding principles: to support projects that are focused on green solutions, to support the well-being and economic growth of communities, to support employment, and to support the long term aims of the National Park.
The Fund will look to assist 6-12 local projects of varying sizes that can help to deliver all of the four principles and will benefit the community in the longer term.
Xander McDade, Convener of the CNPA said:
“Lockdown has been a challenging time for everyone, particularly those in rural communities who rely on visitors.
“We want to support our communities in the National Park, so whilst there are other national schemes that assist with recovery the focus of this fund will be strictly local.
“We are hoping to see applications from innovative projects that will not only create economic growth, but do so in a green way that will contribute to the net zero goal.
“We want to see projects that will boost the local economy and employment in the short term but also help to deliver a sustainable future for the communities in the National Park.”
The Cairngorms Trust who are partnering in the Fund are looking for applications from projects that demonstrate a wider public benefit, for example they may support young people in the Cairngorms, or they may improve transport, support sustainable tourism or protect and enhance the Cairngorms National Park’s landscapes, wildlife or local heritage.
Roger Clegg, Chair of the Cairngorms Trust, explains:
“The Cairngorms Trust, as a charity promoting sustainable, community led local development, is really excited to be playing a part in helping our communities and the businesses embedded in those communities in their recovery from the impacts of COVID19.
“Our Trustees look forward to being able to invest our funds in projects where applicants are seeking to provide wider benefits to the resident and visiting public that we are required to secure as a registered charity.
“Those benefits could be directed at specific age groups such as young people; seeking to solve local community issues such as transport; or provide investment to support and enhance the amazing nature and heritage the Cairngorms has to offer visitors.”
The Scottish Government’s Natural Environment Minister Mairi Gougeon commented:
“A green recovery focussed on nature-based solutions, will be absolutely vital to supporting good jobs, livelihoods and people’s wellbeing whilst protecting our environment and natural resources.
“Communities and local businesses across the country, whilst impacted in so many ways by the COVID-19 lockdown, are playing a vital role in responding to the crisis and maintaining our resilience and local support network.
“They will also play a critical role in supporting our recovery from the pandemic, which is why I am delighted that the Cairngorms Recovery Fund has been established.”
Groups eligible to apply for the Fund include: community bodies, registered charities, business associations and nature/climate bodies or partnership.
Individual businesses may be eligible to apply but are encouraged to do so as groups or informal partnerships of businesses working together to solve common problems or undertake joint initiatives.
The Fund is open for applications from today (Thursday 20 August) with a closing date of 20 September.
All successful projects must be completed by 31 March 2021.