Ingram Welcomes Aden Country Park Heritage Lottery Fund Award

>> 16 July 2018

Central Buchan SNP councillor Jim Ingram has welcomed the award of £1.25million by the National Lottery, as part of the ‘Parks for People’ programme.

The funding will support the major restoration and redevelopment of both Aden’s historic buildings and landscape, along with the creation of a brand-new play area, improvements to park accessibility and signage, as well as supporting a programme to enhance biodiversity. The ambition of the project is to enhance, promote, and conserve Aden’s rich cultural, architectural, archaeological and natural heritage, creating a sustainable, high-quality visitor destination in rural Aberdeenshire for present and future generations to enjoy.

In addition, it is hoped this investment will encourage as many people as possible get involved with the heritage of Aden Country Park through opportunities for volunteering, community participation, audience development, interpretation, training and learning.

Commenting, Cllr Ingram said:

“I welcome the confirmation that Aden Park has been successful in its bid for the £1.25 million Lottery Grant.

“This will enable the Park Committee to proceed with its planned programme of improvements, which will bring long term advantages to the area, which have been further advanced by the recently awarded Green Flag status to the park.”

The total grant is for £1.25million. It is expected that the total project cost will be £2.13 million, with the rest of the funds coming from other grants, from non-cash contributions, volunteer time, developer obligations and investment from Aberdeenshire Council itself.

Work is due to start before the end of 2018 and will take five years to complete.

The main strands of the proposed project delivery phase include:
  • A range of improvements to visitor facilities, including improved access, upgraded courtyard, path works, the opening up of the ground floor of the Coach House to develop an interactive interpretation, education and activity area, along with the creation of wildlife and farming heritage trails.
  • Improvements to the biodiversity of habitats for plants and wildlife including works to the Mill Pond, new planting, the control of invasive species and woodland management.
  • The development of environmental, archaeological and heritage-related volunteer and learning opportunities.
  • A new adventure play area aimed at children of all ages and abilities.
  • The creation of outdoor learning classrooms with a new pond dipping platform, wildlife shelter, and nature trails.
  • The uncovering, recording, and interpretation of a series of significant archaeological sites including a Bronze Age settlement, lost Keith Tower, Mansion House, Stone Circle and WW1 trenches.
  • Formal learning programmes and resources developed for schools to complement the curriculum for excellence.
  • The stabilisation of the Gardener’s Cottage and the re-purposing of the Grieve’s House to create new enterprises and new income sources in the future.
  • The conservation of Aden’s designed landscape including the restoration of structures such as the three historic lodges, features and planting along with the stabilisation of at risk buildings.
  • The development of a wide range of interpretation e.g. interpretation centre, smartphone app, films, website, leaflets and panels, to encourage visitors to engage with Aden’s natural, built, cultural and archaeological heritage.
  • The delivery of a wide range of heritage related events and activities aimed at a wide range of audiences.
Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, added:

“Aden Country Park is enjoyed by all ages as a place to relax and reconnect with nature away from the pressures of daily life. As ‘Love Parks Week’ begins, we’re delighted that, thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are able to protect this precious green space making a difference to the quality of life for the people of Aberdeenshire.”

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