KINNEIL Estate and neighbouring Kinneil Foreshore could benefit from a new funding package from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Lottery distributor has set aside nearly £2 million to invest in projects in the Inner Forth area. The Kinneil sites are located within the Inner Forth project area. Supporters, including Falkirk Council, will now have to come up with projects to release the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Councillor Adrian Mahoney, the convener of leisure, tourism and community at Falkirk Council, said: “The money could be spent on a variety of heritage-linked projects, such as improving paths, better interpretation and running training schemes – as well as other initiatives. It could provide a real boost for local people and visitors to this area. As of now, the partners have secured development funding of nearly £76,000 to prepare final proposals to HLF. However, with the right ideas, and the support of local communities and the partners, we could attract £2 million of Lottery funding, plus additional monies from other sources. Hopefully Kinneil and other coastal areas in the Falkirk Council area will benefit.”
He added: “It’s worth stressing that whilst money has been set aside by the Heritage Lottery Fund, there isn’t a guarantee of full funding at this stage. The partners will now be expected to develop a comprehensive set of proposals, meeting the Fund’s criteria, for the money to be released. Hopefully we can work up the right proposals to satisify HLF and bring much-needed investment into our area.”
Kate Studd, Inner Forth Landscape Partnership Officer, said: “The Inner Forth is an area of real conservation and historic importance. Sadly, despite its fascinating history, it is often overlooked and undervalued. With this support from HLF, we will be able to work with local communities to take action to protect and celebrate the area’s valuable heritage.”
Andrew Bachell, Director of Operations at Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said: “The landscape and nature in the Forth area is important to us all, offering recreational and economic benefits right in the heart of the Central Scotland Green Network. We are delighted to be working with others on projects to restore some ecological processes and to strengthen links between local communities and nature so that we can increase the health and other benefits from living in a good environment.”
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The natural and built heritage of the Inner Forth lies undiscovered for most, overlooked because of its industrial character. The area is, however, very important in terms of rare and diverse wildlife and the role it has had in shaping the history of Scotland over the centuries. HLF is delighted to give our initial support to a project which will enable this huge area of land to be conserved and managed, and local people reconnected with pride to the heritage on their doorstep.”
ABOUT THE INNER FORTH LANDSCAPE INITIATIVE
The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) sees local government, charities, and agencies working together with local people to deliver an ambitious vision for the area. The partnership is formed of RSPB Scotland (lead agency), Scottish Natural Heritage (Chair), Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Historic Scotland, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, Falkirk Council, Central Scotland Forest Trust, TCV Scotland, and SUSTRANS.
Its intention is to reveal the hidden cultural, historical and natural wealth of the upper reaches of the Firth of Forth, restore and conserve important features, open up access, and ultimately leave a legacy of a richer landscape and new facilities for all.
The project aims to:
- turn perceptions of the Inner Forth around and re-kindle local pride in this place;
- connect disparate habitats to create a landscape flourishing with wildlife;
- celebrate, protect and improve access to important historical and natural features;
- support committed and motivated local community groups, individuals and organisations to take action to conserve and celebrate their area’s heritage;
- increase access and knowledge of the area’s important heritage;
- provide training opportunities for people in local heritage skills.
The Forth is designated as an internationally important site for birds, providing refuge for thousands of wildfowl and wading birds in winter. The landscape has also been home to Scotland’s industries for centuries, becoming an important trading route with the rest of the world. Along the coastline, there is evidence of ancient ports and harbours, salt pans, limekilns, mining and whisky production, sitting alongside the industries of today at Grangemouth, Alloa and Longannet. The layers of history and heritage hidden within the landscape create a fascinating story to be told.
* There is also the hope that further funding could be attracted to the area. Kinneil has already been identified as part of an expanded John Muir Way – a national trail running from Forth to Clyde, due to be launched in 2014.