The Cairngorms Local Development Strategy aims to promote community led local development to support a sustainable rural economy in the Cairngorms National Park. It was developed by the Cairngorms Local Action Group in 2014 through community consultations, research and data analysis. It compliments existing strategies and includes lessons learnt from previous Community-led Local Development activities in the Park.
The Strategy will be implemented by the Cairngorms Trust in partnership with other organisations, groups and individuals. The Cairngorms Trust will deliver the Strategy through the Cairngorms Local Action Group by running events to get people involved, supporting community projects and directly implementing activities.
The Strategy is designed to tackle some of the challenges faced by people living, working or visiting the Cairngorms National Park. It links directly with the Community Action Plans, National Park Partnership Plan and Scottish Government strategies. It is about supporting communities in planning for their future needs, tackling issues and challenges they face as well as dealing with the responsibility it brings.
The priority areas in the Strategy were identified during community consultation and should reflect the diversity of issues across the National Park. Throughout development of the strategy different groups and individuals have been involved to identify the priorities and to encourage networking and the development of partnerships to take the strategy forwards.
The Local Action Group will base all investment decisions on priorities, or Themes, listed in the strategy. The aim is to encourage local communities or businesses to be involved in projects that help the communities of the Cairngorms National Park to thrive and become more sustainable.
The LEADER approach is about developing links to build the strength of communities. There are six Themes for investment within the Cairngorms Local Development Strategy. These are:
- Build community capacity
- Grow the economy of the Park
- Attract and retain young people
- Improve transport, connectivity and services
- Protect and enhance landscape and heritage
- Excellence in tourism and recreation
Themes 2 and 5 are priority themes for investment at this time, and your project must choose one priority theme plus one other theme to concentrate on.
The Local Development Strategy also highlights the need for the cross-cutting themes of Equality, Knowledge Sharing, Innovation, Partnership Working and Sustainability.