East Ayrshire’s Coalfield Community Landscape Project has received its first phase payment of £195,200 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The group has set out to access a full fund of £2.5m from lottery funding and the project is set to progress its development.
The unified communities of the Cumnock and Doon Valley areas are currently in a process of an environmental and public engagement renovation.
Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure said, “Years of coal mining bound the communities together but also left its scars. We’ve already got some fantastic habitats and environments within the coalfield community areas, but there is so much more that can be done to capitalise on this, develop lasting facilities and opportunities for the next generation to carry forward.
“In the Coalfield Communities area the landscape and the heritage of the people have been intertwined for centuries and it’s great to see this funding and encouragement for the people who live and work in the area to have a real effect on how the landscape develops in future.”
image courtesy of Coalfield Communities with East Ayrshire (Dunaskin)
Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland stated, “East Ayrshire is often perceived as lacking in interest because of its industrial character when in fact 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.”
The money funded by HLF will help prepare the communities within the area to develop many recreational projects.
The majority of the projects will provide opportunities in leisure, tourism, skills and training, re-connecting people within the communities with the surrounding landscape and finding new uses for former open cast mining sites.
Barony A Frame (Auchinleck)
The Barony A Frame at the Barony Colliery, in Auchinleck, is just one of many mining sites that have been restored to its iconic former glory, with added educational elements by The Barony A Frame Trust.
Very little, practically nonexistent, has been done for restoring and conserving mining sites – which is why many partners and the HLF are investing in restoring areas where there are higher levels of social deprivation.
The East Ayrshire’s project is not the only development planned, the heritage lottery fund are investing £20m to improve eight landscape-scale projects across the UK.
Many areas will be restored, conserved and possibly enhanced to fulfil the importance of any area specific relics or industrial heritage.
image courtesy of Coalfield Communities with East Ayrshire (Doon Valley)
Covering a 100 square miles between the river valleys of the Lugar and the Doon, the project will aim to terminate the high levels of deprivation and return the areas to their once natural glory.
Within the communities and surrounding areas of East Ayrshire, Coalfield’s approach should encourage people to work together and face the needs of the environment head on.
Many partners involved and the Coalfield Community group aim for a completion date by the end of November 2025.