A detailed study that examines options for regenerating the Cabrach in Moray is to be launched this week by Richard Lochhead MSP.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) commissioned Nick Brown Associates earlier this year to carry out a healthcheck of the area’s economy and community.
The Cabrach Baseline Study will be launched at Horizon Scotland, Enterprise Park Forres on Friday June 6.
As a sparsely populated area in Moray lying between Dufftown and Rhynie, the Cabrach has recently seen the threat of the school in the village which currently has two pupils. The Cabrach Community Association has since been formed with a view to making the area more appealing to visitors and residents.
The study details how the Cabrach lost more than 75 per cent of its population between 1861 and 1961 and now there are only 64 people living in the area.
The Cabrach is around 10 miles long and eight miles wide with almost the entire parish under the ownership of privately-owned Glenfiddich and Cabrach Estate.
The community group is currently exploring opportunities for regenerating the area including the development of leisure activities, training initiatives and improvement of derelict buildings. The report identifies specific opportunities in renewable energy, tourism, and alternatives for land not in use.
Franziska Smith from HIE’s area team in Forres said: “HIE, along with our key stakeholders, the Cabrach community and other interested parties will seek to identify realistic projects which could make a positive difference to the issues facing the area.”
Richard Lochhead MSP said: “We now have a clearly defined base from which to work and the report will enable the agencies and residents to plan for the future effectively and to implement changes to positively benefit the Cabrach and to enable its long term sustainability.”
On the same day, MR Lochhead will open a new visitor experience at Culbin Forest between Nairn and Forres. The project included development such as themed trails and comprehensive visitor management to safeguard Culbin’s unique features. A viewing tower also allows visitors to appreciate the physical scale and coastal processes at work, detailing teaching resources including a website www.forestry.gov.uk/culbin and type Hill 99 into the search box. HIE has funded