AN innovative North Highlands festival is set to benefit from £38,400 of funding won by North Highland Initiative (NHI) from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Building on the 2012 pilot Wild North Festival and the recent My Wild North promotional campaign, the Wild North Festival aims to inspire an interest in the natural and cultural heritage of the North Highlands, encouraging curiosity about local landscapes, their history and future.
Working with local community groups in Caithness and Sutherland, the project will look to provide a focus on local contributions based on natural and cultural heritage and sustainable tourism amongst rural communities.
This in turn will promote greater community awareness of local skills and resources, helping to generate a sense of pride and confidence in the community and preserve traditional skills which might otherwise be lost.
Plans for 2014 Festival activities are well underway with links established with a European Cultural Fund Project, Wild Flower Europe.
The HLF grant allows the project to hire both a Wild North Project Co-ordinator and an archivist to assist with the Assynt Community Digital Archive.
Commenting on the award, Eilidh Todd, destination development co-ordinator at NHI, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of HLF and are confident the project will promote our natural and cultural heritage to locals and visitors alike.”
Colin McLean, head of HLF Scotland, said: “This is an exciting project driven by the local residents of the North Highlands. It demonstrates how our heritage can be a living part of a community bringing people together to learn from and enjoy their shared identity. We are delighted to be giving this very worthwhile venture our full support.”
The project was launched earlier this summer with an artwork display and an illustrated talk by Dr Issie Macphail about archive finds at the Anchorage, Scourie.
Also included were performances of work created during the Moving Times heritage project: music, Gaelic song, poetry and dance and artwork from five artists in residence; Iain Copeland, Fiona J Mackenzie, George Gunn, Patricia Niemann and Lotte Glob.
The Wild North Festival are also working with the Assynt Festival to produce a variety of exciting events running from the 4 – 8 of October 2013.
Full details can be found at www.northhighlandsscotland.com/wildnorth or at www.assyntfestival.co.uk.
Notes to editors
About North Highland Initiative
NHI was established in 2005 by HRH Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay to assist in the promotion and development of the economy of the North Highlands and to support its communities. Specifically the NHI Tourism Project works with tourism businesses, local tourism groups and key stakeholders in the North Highlands to grow the value of tourism in the region through destination development and targeted marketing.
North Highland Initiative: www.north-highlands.co.uk
North Highland Initiative Tourism Project: www.northhighlandsscotland.com
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. To date, it has invested over £500 million in Scotland’s heritage. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
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Eilidh Todd at North Highland Initiative on 01955609806 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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