Tomintoul & Glenlivet



In May an ambitious £3.6million landscape partnership bid was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund. As part of the bid we hosted a visit from the Heritage Lottery Fund team in August, it was our chance to showcase the special place that is Tomintoul and Glenlivet.  We wanted to ensure that we could show a wide variety of projects and the diverse landscape and heritage that pertains to the area.

We started the morning with an introduction to the project and an overview of the area, why it is so special and what this bid would mean to the area and the community.  We then had a tour of the area meeting community members along the way who were able to explain the importance of the different projects and the sites that we visited.

First up we met Hamish McIntosh at the Wetlands and Waders project site, Hamish currently works with the RSPB on a similar initiative so was well placed to confirm the importance of sites such as the Conglass.Scalan

Our next stop took us to the Braes of Glenlivet where we met John Toovey and Gordon McGillivray who are members of the Scalan Association and were able to give us a brief history of the site and its significance to both local and Scottish history.  The HLF bid focusses primarily on restoring the agricultural buildings at Scalan and providing better interpretation for visitors to learn and engage with the rich heritage of the site.

Onwards to Blairfindy Castle where Simon Forder joined the group to give a plotted history of Blairfindy Castle and its significance locally.  We were also able to discuss the linkages with Glenlivet Distillery and how a path and development of the smugglers heritage could allow over 45,000 visitors annually to get a glimpse of our heritage whilst visiting the Distillery.

After recent flooding Fordmouth Farm provided Duncan Ferguson from the Spey Catchment Initiative a great example of how Riparian woodlands can support the landscape and ecosystems within the area, linking directly with the overall review of the Forestry Plan across the Estate.Tomintoul Museum Kitchen Display

The final stop of the day saw us explore the Square in Tomintoul and the planned village that we are all so familiar with.  We were then joined by Murray Cameron who engaged the HLF team with local stories of old and explained why preserving our heritage and the museum was so important to a rural community and economy like ourselves.

The visit was extremely worthwhile for the team from HLF as it allowed them to present our bid to the assessment panel with first-hand knowledge of the area and a great insight to the projects that are included.  We are now delighted to announce that the bid has been successful and the Heritage Lottery Fund have earmarked a 60% grant of £2.5 million, with £171,600 development funding available to support the development phase in 1 year, which will include the recruitment a Project Officer.  The remaining 40%, £1.1 million will come from other partners including The Cairngorms National Park Authority, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Moray Council, The Crown Estate and Glenlivet Distillery.

We are delighted with the outcome of the Landscape Partnership bid, the size of investment that the award brings presents a huge opportunity for both the local area and the wider community.  We would like to thank all members of the community and partners who have worked extremely hard in presenting a bid that truly reflected our passion and commitment to preserve, enhance and celebrate the unique landscape and heritage within the Tomintoul and Glenlivet area.  We look forward to realising the ambitions of the bid.

For more information on all the projects that form the Landscape Partnership bid please download the overview here.