Holy­rood in­vests £5m for ‘cul­tural her­itage’

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS -

Fresh in­vest­ment has been an­nounced by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to help pro­mote the scenery, wildlife and cul­ture of the High­lands and Is­lands.

The £5 mil­lion Nat­u­ral and Cul­tural Her­itage Fund, led by Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage (SNH), will open for ap­pli­ca­tions to­day aimed at boost­ing projects seek­ing to ben­e­fit the area, in­clud­ing im­prov­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of vis­i­tors.

The fund­ing comes through the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s Euro­pean Re­gional Devel­op­ment Fund pro­gramme, with match fund­ing from other sources, bring­ing over­all in­vest­ment to more than £7m.

The fund will in­vest in around 10 ma­jor new projects and, in ad­di­tion to pro­mot­ing na­ture and cul­ture, will seek to cre­ate and sup­port jobs in the High­lands and Is­lands.

Job cre­ation is cited as a key mea­sure of suc­cess for the fund, with projects en­cour­aged to demon­strate ben­e­fits such as cre­at­ing and sus­tain­ing em­ploy­ment, busi­nesses and ser­vices in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Ap­pli­ca­tions can be sub­mit­ted from the pub­lic, vol­un­tary or third sec­tors.

The fund is not suit­able for ap­pli­ca­tions from the pri­vate sec­tor, in­di­vid­u­als, com­mer­cial en­ter­prise or or­gan­i­sa­tions run en­tirely by vol­un­teers.

Fiona Hys­lop, cabi­net sec­re­tary for cul­ture, tourism and ex­ter­nal af­fairs, said: “The Nat­u­ral and Cul­tural Her­itage Fund will tar­get re­sources ac­cord­ingly to more re­mote and ru­ral parts of the re­gion, sup­port­ing much-needed jobs and bring­ing ad­di­tional eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fits.”

SNH chief ex­ec­u­tive Francesca Osowska said: “This new fund presents fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties to show how in­vest­ing in the en­vi­ron­ment and cul­ture of the High­lands and Is­lands can bring sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fits for ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.”

Walk­ers near the Three Sis­ters moun­tain range.

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