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Heritage Lottery Fund backs major Inner Forth project

23 July 2012

A pioneering partnership project aiming to enhance the landscape and celebrate the history of the   Inner Forth is one step closer to securing a major funding boost.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) today (23rd July 2012) announced that RSPB Scotland, on behalf of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, has received an earmarked first-round pass¹ of £1,975,900, including £75,900 development funding through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme².

The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) sees local government, charities, and agencies working together with local people to deliver an ambitious vision for the area. The partnership is formed of RSPB Scotland (lead agency), Scottish Natural Heritage (Chair), Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Historic Scotland, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, Falkirk Council, Central Scotland Forest Trust, TCV Scotland, and SUSTRANS .

Its intention is to reveal the hidden cultural, historical and natural wealth of the upper reaches of the Firth of Forth, restore and conserve important features, open up access, and ultimately leave a legacy of a richer landscape and new facilities for all.

The Inner Forth sits close to the heart of Scotland between two of its ancient capitals – Stirling and Dunfermline –  within an hour’s drive of Edinburgh and Glasgow -  and includes coastal areas within Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirling and Fife.

The project aims to:
•turn perceptions of the Inner Forth around and rekindle local pride in this place,
•connect disparate habitats to create a landscape flourishing with wildlife,
•celebrate, protect and improve access to important historical and natural features,
•support committed and motivated local community groups, individuals and organisations to take action to conserve and celebrate their area’s heritage,
•increase access and knowledge of the area's important heritage,,
•provide training opportunities for people in local heritage skills,

The Forth is designated as an internationally important site for birds, providing refuge for thousands of wildfowl and wading birds in winter. The landscape has also been home to Scotland’s industries for centuries, becoming an important trading route with the rest of the world. Along the coastline, there is evidence of ancient ports and harbours, salt pans, limekilns, mining and whisky production, sitting alongside the industries of today at Grangemouth, Alloa and Longannet. The layers of history and heritage hidden within the landscape create a fascinating story to be told.

Kate Studd, Inner Forth Landscape Partnership Officer, said:
” We’re delighted that we have cleared this all important first hurdle and that the Heritage Lottery Fund recognises the potential of what can be achieved in this landscape. The Inner Forth is an area of real conservation and historic importance. Sadly, despite its fascinating history, it is often overlooked and undervalued. With this support from HLF, we will be able to work with local communities to take action to protect and celebrate the area’s valuable heritage.”

Anne McCall, Regional Director for RSPB Scotland added:
”RSPB Scotland is proud to be lead partner in this exciting project. The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative is a real team effort and allows us to deliver key conservation work on a large scale. This work, we believe, will play a vital role in improving the landscape of the Forth for people and wildlife for generations to come.”

Andrew Bachell, Director of Operations at Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said:
“The landscape and nature in the Forth area is important to us all, offering recreational and economic benefits right in the heart of the Central Scotland Green Network.  We are delighted to be working with others on projects to restore some ecological processes and to strengthen links between local communities and nature so that we can increase the health and other benefits from living in a good environment.”

Dr George Findlater, Historic Scotland’s Heritage Management Team Leader, said:
“This is an exciting an innovative project which will help protect, conserve and promote an important part of Scotland’s cultural heritage. We are delighted to be involved in the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative and look forward to playing our part in creating a renewed interest in this area on a local and national level.”

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:
“The natural and built heritage of the Inner Forth lies undiscovered for most, overlooked because of its industrial character. The area is, however, very important in terms of rare and diverse wildlife and the role it has had in shaping the history of Scotland over the centuries. HLF is delighted to give our initial support to a project which will enable this huge area of land to be conserved and managed, and local people reconnected with pride to the heritage on their doorstep.”

This project is part-funded by the Scottish Government and the European Community Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER 2007-2013 Programme and the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund.

For further information, images and interviews please contact:

Jennifer Johnston-Watt, Historic Scotland Media and PR officer, on 0131 668 8070 / 07827 956 866
Louise Smith, RSPB Scotland Media & Communications Officer, on  0131 317 4136/ 07540 121 457
Shiona Mackay or Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on 01786 870638 or 020 7591 6036

Notes to editors
¹ A Landscape Partnership (LP) earmarked first-round pass means that money has been set aside by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the scheme in question. Competition at this stage is tough, and while it does not guarantee funding, it is an indication of positive support. The applicant then progresses to the second round and submits a further, fully-developed application to secure the full award.  This early level of strong financial commitment means that LPs can build strong partnerships with the assurance that funding for their scheme is in place provided that their final proposals fully meet the programme's criteria.  For more information, please call Katie Owen, HLF press office, on 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.     

² HLF’s Landscape Partnerships are helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities.  Grants currently range from £250,000 up to £2m.  From 2013 this range changes to £100,000 up to £3m.  The next closing date for LP applications is May 2013.  

3. The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative is a partnership of RSPB Scotland (lead agency), Scottish Natural Heritage (Chair), Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, Falkirk Council, Central Scotland Forest Trust, TCV Scotland, Historic Scotland, and SUSTRANS . Other organisations contribute knowledge, expertise and links to the community through working groups and other meetings.

4. Development funding of £75,900 has also been awarded to help the IFLI progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. This development funding will be used to work with local communities and organisations to develop projects to deliver through the scheme.   

About RSPB Scotland
The RSPB works for a better world for birds, wildlife and people, where biodiversity loss has halted and human actions ensure the sustainable management of the planet’s natural resources. With over a million members, the RSPB is the largest nature conservation organisation in Europe.

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. HLF has supported 33,000 projects, allocating £4.9billion across the UK. Website:

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For further information

Jennifer Johnston-Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956 866