Published: 07/06/2018 15:53 - Updated: 07/06/2018 15:55

Great Badenoch warrants a great launch!

Oliver O'Grady 

The Badenoch Great Place Project is to launch its three-year programme of events on Sunday week (June 17).

The project, a partnership of key local organisations involved in heritage across Badenoch, will enter life under a marquee on the shinty pitch at the Highland Folk Museum by Newtonmore, starting at 10.30am until 2.30pm, with free food from 11.00 to 14.00.

Performances will include traditional piping, a talk about the project by project officer Oliver O’Grady (pictured) at 12.30, Gaelic singing from Badenoch Waulking Group, and a friendly shinty match with Alvie and Kingussie Juniors at 13.00.

Matthew Withey, Curatorial Manager of Highland Folk Museum at the High Life Highland and Board Member of BGPP said: "The Highland Folk Museum is delighted to be hosting this celebratory launch. Our curators and team will be on hand to share more with the community about the museum’s important work in researching and helping to promote the area’s cultural heritage."

David Watson, Economic Development at CNPA and a BGPP team member, said: "The project was developed through a very well attended and really positive process of community consultation. This was vital in influencing its focus on helping make Badenoch a strong visitor destination based on the area’s unique cultural heritage and identity, with thanks to the funding support from National Lottery players.

"This is only the beginning of what we hope will be an exciting journey for Badenoch’s past and the future of tourism in this great place."

Mr O’Grady stressed: "I would like to invite the community to come along to our launch and celebrate Badenoch’s amazing Highland cultural heritage with our project partners and local stakeholders.

"This is a chance to hear about what is going on with heritage in our local area, find out about volunteering opportunities and have a bit of a celebration with our team.

"We would also be thrilled to hear more from the community about local heritage, there may be hidden gems out there, and sites and stories still to be revealed.

"From an exciting live show of shinty skills, to beautiful Gaelic singing, traditional Badenoch piping, to simply a fun day out to have a burger or an ice cream and an interesting chat, our launch has something for all to enjoy."

Details of a new programme of community events and volunteering opportunities will be announced by the project later this summer, meanwhile it’s all about Sunday, June 17 for the project, which was granted £352,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional funding from Cairngorms National Park Authority, Transport Scotland and The Highland Council.

This funding and April’s appointment of a project officer, means that a packed programme of events and activities can now go forward.

Over the next three years until December 2020 there will be new volunteering and training opportunities, detailed new research into the area’s past and historic landscape, creation of new interpretation and mobile apps to tempt visitors, as well as marketing studies, development of new promotional and exhibition materials, and much more, all of which aim to help make Badenoch a stronger destination for heritage tourism.

Badenoch’s roots are steeped in history tracing back to Prehistory and Pictish times and is one of the centres of Highland Gaelic culture in the Cairngorms.

The vision of the Badenoch Great Place partners is to ensure that by the end of 2020, the area will be renowned as a place within the Cairngorms National Park with a strong character and identity that is based on its distinctive heritage, which is well-managed and communicated to people to exemplary standards.

Key project partner organisations will be represented at the launch. The project partners include Badenoch Heritage, Cairngorms National Park Authority, High Life Highland, Royal Zoological Society Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Transport Scotland and Voluntary Action in Badenoch and Speyside.

Joining them at the launch with information stalls and displays will be invited local stakeholders and heritage organisations, such as Kingussie Shinty Club and Newtonmore Shinty Club, Laggan Heritage, Macpherson Clan Museum, Iona Gallery, Badenoch Waulking Group, ARC, and the University of Highlands and Islands and Archaeology Scotland. The BGP Project Team welcomes the local community to help them explore Badenoch’s local heritage, and help them embed heritage at the heart of the area’s plans. There will also be a free BBQ and ice cream to enjoy, traditional Badenoch piping music courtesy of Chris Thomson and a friendly - but no less exciting - shinty match with Alvie and Kingussie junior players.

Details of a new programme of community events and volunteering opportunities will be announced by the project later this summer.

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