Coalfield Landscape in line for National Lottery boost

A remaining wall of the Lost Mining Village
Abandoned hill villages and colliery brass bands, both legacies of a once thriving coal industry, are to play a central role in a scheme to renew the industrialised heartland of East Ayrshire.

The Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership, which covers an area including some of the highest levels of deprivation in Scotland, is in line for £2.56million of National Lottery funding.

The 250 sq km scheme aims to reconnect communities with the landscape by creating opportunities for leisure, tourism, skills and training.  It will encourage people to work together, through many interlinked projects, to tackle the environmental needs of their local landscape, conserving and restoring the natural and built heritage while celebrating the history and heritage of the area.

Potential projects that are planned include:

  • A trail interpreting the lost mining villages of the valleys and oral histories capturing the life of those that lived there.
  • An arts project to celebrate the history of the brass bands associated with the mining communities
  • The creation of new paths to improve opportunities for walking and cycling.
  • Apprenticeships in landscape management

[quote=Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland]"The Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership will help people reconnect with their natural heritage."[/quote]

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “The industrial character of East Ayrshire means that people often don’t recognise that its natural resources and meandering rivers make it rich in both built and natural heritage. The Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership will help people reconnect with their natural heritage, strengthening their sense of pride and inspiring stewardship of the land around them.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: “This is fantastic news for East Ayrshire and will allow us to work up the detail of our ambitious scheme, devised in partnership with our communities. Thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to realise our ambitions, carrying out work in our coalfield communities which would not otherwise have proved possible.”

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