One of the Cateran Ecomuseum’s innovative projects has been awarded nearly £60,000 thanks to Inspiring Scotland and the Scottish Government’s Rural and Island Communities Idea into Action (RICIA) Fund and match-funding from Paths for All.
The second phase of our Travel For All Our Tomorrows project – which regular readers will know was launched in 2021 and is part of the wider Museum of Rapid Transition programme – will build on work already carried out to increase the number of active travel for leisure and regenerative tourism experiences offered by the Cateran Ecomuseum, helping to position the area as one of Scotland’s premier car-free holiday destinations.
Loch Beanie, Photo Markus Stitz
Ours was one of 181 diverse community-led projects across Scotland to benefit from a share of a £3 million funding boost from RICIA, which was announced on Wednesday, January 4th 2023.
The RICIA fund encourages and supports not-for-profit community groups with innovative approaches to community-led local development which include solutions to net zero and just transition goals, tackling rural poverty and supporting rural communities through the cost crisis.
Paths for All works towards creating more opportunities and better environments for walking, cycling and other activities.
Thanks to the funding, we will be holding 24 free led walks and guided cycling events over the coming months, using the natural and cultural heritage-based itineraries designed in the first phase of the project, and two cycling events which will take place later this year.
There will also be a free performance walk and an accompanying audio tour focusing on the cultural heritage of Meigle, a new film about regenerative tourism and the Cateran Ecomsueum, a new booklet highlighting the walking itineraries developed in 2021 and four new audio guides.
Guided Walk Up Barry Hill with Gavin Lindsey, photo Clare Cooper
And we will be working with local and regional cycling and walking organisations and public transport providers to encourage more people who use public transport to come and enjoy the active travel for leisure experiences on offer in the Ecomuseum.
The importance of community-led, regenerative tourism – which aims to ensure travel and tourism delivers a net positive benefit to people, places and nature, and supports the long-term renewal and flourishing of our social-ecological systems – cannot be under-estimated.
The Cateran Ecomuseum is one of the first, if not the first destination in Scotland, to expressly commit to a regenerative tourism approach to destination development and it is fantastic that this commitment has been recognised by this funding.
We want people to explore the Cateran Ecomuseum – which is the gateway to the Cairngorms National Park – on foot and by bike, travelling slowly so that they can take in the amazing landscape and discover the extraordinary heritage and stories along the way, and we want them to really get to know our host communities and all they have to offer.
One of our cycling events in 2021 in Alyth, photo Clare Cooper
Offering a number of active travel for leisure experiences that have been co-designed with local communities and which will be led and delivered by local people will have a number of benefits.
- Raising the profile of the area in the growing market for regenerative tourism
- Encouraging more people in the Tayside region to enjoy what is on their doorstep rather than increase their carbon footprint by travelling further afield
- Building recognition – and respect and pride – of the unique natural and cultural heritage of the area
- Helping local tourism-related businesses weather the cost of living crisis.
Building on the success of the first stage of the project and making the most of the opportunities arising from Scotland hosting the World Cycling Championships this year, we will continue to develop relationships between key community anchor organisations such as the local development trusts and tourism-related businesses to help develop community-led regenerative tourism practice across the area, for the benefit of all our tomorrows.
Watch this space and keep an eye on our events page for all the dates and details!