Braemar CNPA meeting sets out plan for future

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A new strategy aimed at growing the economy of the Cairngorms National Park is “set to help businesses to thrive in the long-term.”

The board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) held a meeting in Braemar last week (June 27) and gave their backing to the Cairngorms Economic Development and Diversification Strategy.

The Strategy has been developed in conjunction with a range of private and public sector partners and was the subject of a wide public consultation earlier in the year.

The need for a strategy that supports the economy of the Park was highlighted by the business community.

The Park is covered in part by five local authorities with their own economic development strategies and, while they are relevant to the Cairngorms National Park, they are focused on a much wider area.

This first Cairngorms Economic Development and Diversification Strategy focuses entirely on the Park and its needs.

The Cairngorms Economic Forum developed the Strategy and working with partners, will drive its implementation.

Duncan Bryden, convenor of the CNPA, said: “We are seeing encouraging growth in the Park, jobs have increased by 4.5per cent in the last four years and unemployment is lower than the Scottish average.

“Young people are moving to the area and we have an increasing population. This crucial piece of work will ensure that the economy of the Park continues to thrive, while at the same time caring for our outstanding nature.”

From inception, the Cairngorms Economic Forum realised the importance of the area’s natural heritage as an asset to business.

The overriding ambition running throughout the Strategy is to not only safeguard, but build on “natural capital” and help businesses to see the opportunities it can offer them.

Chair of the Cairngorms Economic Forum, David Fraser, said: “We are already seeing progress on some of the key actions within the Plan including new initiatives on Broadband delivery and Business Support Services.”

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