What are the aims of your project?
The Applecross area is isolated/remote and has its own distinctive natural, built and cultural heritage with many features of its heritage identified as under threat. The Applecross Landscape Partnership Scheme (ALPS) identified a demand for projects which, as well as addressing the needs of its heritage resources, could also maximise the benefits of such resources in terms of sustainable tourism development. The ALPS project used a systematic approach to identify projects which included:
- A Natural Heritage Audit and audits of Archaeological and Built Heritage and Cultural Heritage;
- A Landscape Character Assessment based on the findings of these audits;
- An Audience Development Plan which examined the socio-economic characteristics of the local area and which analysed opportunities for developing tourism sustainably;
- A Training Plan which identified training needs and mechanisms to address these; and
- A Landscape Strategy, underpinning the whole ALPS initiative by defining a holistic approach to safeguarding the area’s natural and cultural heritage, and creating new tourism products and employment opportunities.
ALPS required partnership working between the lead applicant, the ALPS Management Board and the wider community in the delivery of a suite of projects including:
- the digitisation of archive, family history, and local history materials and making materials more available to visitors and also virtual visitors via web;
- the gathering and presenting of the area’s archaeology;
- the development of new interpretation of the area’s natural and cultural heritage;
- guided walks to promote the area’s natural and cultural heritage (and the new path network developed by ALPS but funded separately); and
- events and festivals promoting the area’s natural and cultural heritage
What have been the benefits of the project?
- Partnership working enabled ongoing engagement with the community and its organisations to identify needs and priorities in relation to area’s local natural and cultural heritage
- Partnership working involved the community and its organisations in the development and delivery of the projects identified
- Partnership working allowed the community and its organisations to share in the ownership and legacy of the project
What were the challenges the project faced?
- Large scale project and possibly some negative perceptions from community about the large landowner/lead applicant but realistically there was no alternative lead applicant willing/able to manage and cashflow the project
- Changes of key staff mid-way through project delayed completion of project
- Delegating delivery of some sub-projects to local organisations required close management to ensure that funders’ requirements were met
Liz Whiteford - Highland LEADER 01463 702524