The Coalfield communities of East Ayrshire are set to benefit from a multi-million pound landscape and heritage regeneration project, following the exciting announcement that the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership has been successful in its application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery players the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership (CCLP) has secured £2,220,500 for a 5 year delivery phase. When added to other funding that partners have secured and will continue to secure, the total project budget will be in the region of £6million.
The partnership will be delivering 22 exciting community led projects over the project area that aim to significantly improve the cultural, natural and industrial heritage of the area. The wide range of projects include peatland restoration, new footpaths, an oral history project to capture memories of the lost mining villages, the reinstatement of hedgerow habitats, a musical celebration of life in the coalfields and much, much more. The funding provides an opportunity to re-vitalise life in and reconnect local communities with their own distinctive landscape by tapping into its history, improving knowledge of the present and helping inspire aspirations for the future.
Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage, said: “The industrial history of East Ayrshire means that people often don’t recognise that the area is rich in both built and natural heritage. With the help of National Lottery funding, the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership will help communities across a wide area reconnect with the heritage on their doorstep, strengthening their sense of pride and inspiring stewardship of the land around them.”
The impetus for the CCLP came from East Ayrshire Council’s Minerals Local Development Plan which focusses on regeneration and restoration, rather than just mineral extraction. Adopted in January of this year, the CCLP is fully embedded within the Minerals Local Development Plan (MLDP) and will work with other initiatives to improve the coalfields area over the lifetime of the plan.
Cllr Roberts, Cabinet member with responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure said: “I am absolutely delighted that the application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund has been successful. This is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work over the last two years from the CCLP team and of course our passionate and committed community partners, without whom the partnership just would not work. I am excited to see the marvellous mix of projects as they come to fruition over the next five years and I’m sure all our communities will benefit greatly from them.”
East Ayrshire Council is the lead Partner of the CCLP, the other Board members being East Ayrshire Leisure, Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, Scottish National Heritage, Forest and Land Scotland, Central Scotland Green Network Trust and East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
Gillian Barrie, Development Officer at Central Scotland Green Network Trust, said: “The Central Scotland Green Network is the largest greenspace project of its kind in Europe and landscape partnerships like East Ayrshire’s Coalfield Communities make an important contribution to delivering a green network across central Scotland.
“By enhancing the environment and improving access to nature, local communities are set to benefit from better health and wellbeing opportunities whilst making stronger connections to the area’s rich heritage.”
Ed Forrest from the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere said: "I am thrilled to hear the great news that funding has been confirmed and really looking forward to our UNESCO Biosphere working with local communities and partners in delivering what will be a truly transformational project for the coalfields area."
For further information on all the projects please visit our website www.coalfieldcommunities.co.uk