Moray LEADER have announced two major funding awards totaling more than half a million pounds for projects that will support the economic and community development of Moray.
The Cabrach Trust have been awarded £358,197.72 towards the redevelopment of Inverharroch Steadings as a Visitor Centre incorporating a working historical distillery and heritage centre. The Trust’s ambition is to help to develop a thriving community in the Cabrach that offers opportunities for both residents and visitors to enrich their lives. They describe the project as “a transformational economic development opportunity” for the Cabrach, an area which has suffered decline and depopulation in recent years.
LEADER funding will support the initial phase of the project, which will involve appointing the project management team, completing preparatory works and detailed designs and specifications required for the Building Warrant, and carrying out preliminary site infrastructure works. It is intended that the distillery will be operational in 2019 and the heritage centre will open in Spring 2020. The LEADER award represents 70% of the total costs of this phase of the development.
Moray LEADER have also awarded £163,402 to the Marcassie Farm Partnership to construct and erect three lodges for guest accommodation with ancillary facilities. These will provide 4-star year-round self-catering and catered accommodation for individuals and smaller groups to hire for retreats, gatherings, meetings, events or as a base for visiting Moray. The award represents 52% of the total project costs.
In addition to leisure tourism, the Partnership’s aim is to develop business and educational tourism, offering unique experiences in nature, the local area, on the farm, in arts and crafts, food and drink, culture, heritage and personal development.
Alastair Kennedy, Chair of the Moray LEADER Local Action Group said: “The Local Action Group are delighted to be able to make a significant investment in the rural regeneration of the Cabrach, one of the most remote and spectacularly beautiful parts of Scotland. The funding for Marcassie Farm supports an ambitious and enterprising tourism project, which works in collaboration with a range of different organisations, including social enterprises.
“These two major funding awards also mean that Moray LEADER is close to the halfway mark in committing our budget to support projects that are contributing to a better future for Moray. The rest of our funding has to be committed by Spring 2019, so we would encourage anyone with an idea for a project that could be eligible for LEADER funding to get in touch as soon as possible.”