PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NATURAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE FUND IS NOW CLOSED
The Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund will encourage people to visit some of the more remote and rural areas and create and sustain jobs, businesses and services in local communities. The purpose of the fund is to promote and develop the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands in a way that conserves and protects them.
The region’s natural, historical and cultural heritage assets are significant within the Scottish and UK context. They are unique selling points for both the region and Scotland as a whole, linking directly to opportunities for the cultural and creative industries and tourism sectors.
ERDF investment will aim to enhance natural capital, increase accessibility, improve visitor experiences and expand the associated products on offer. It will potentially improve jobs and productivity in related economic sectors (such as tourism) through sensitive management, development and coordinated promotion of these assets.
The Fund supports:
- Investment in the infrastructure supporting the sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage assets
- Development of interpretation and interpretive media that promote and protect the natural and cultural heritage
- Activities which improve accessibility
- Increasing the quality of sustainable development opportunities based on the region’s heritage
- Promotion and development of the unique and distinctive natural and cultural heritage and related resources of the region through marketing campaigns to encourage new visitors and expand markets. These campaigns must be specifically focussed on the natural and/or cultural heritage.
- Projects, including feasibility studies and work on the development of longer term legacy projects, to develop new products or services to communities, groups of enterprises and different sectors based on the region's natural and cultural resources.
Funding decisions have been made for the single round of the Natural and Cultural Heritage Challenge Fund and 13 applicants have been offered funding.