Island's bid for UNESCO geopark status gets £80k boost

Arran Geopark has a two-year plan to gain UNESCO Global Geopark status within the next two years.

Isle of Arran’s bid for UNESCO geopark status gets £80k boost iStock

Ambitious eco campaigners from Arran have taken a first step towards their bid to give the island a unique status.

Arran Geopark asked North Ayrshire Council for £79,583 through the community investment fund (CIF) to appoint a project director who will develop and implement the Geopark’s management plan, which is aligned with the local island plan.

The aim within the two-year project period is to gain UNESCO Global Geopark status for the whole of the Isle of Arran.

Arran Geopark is managed by the Arran Access Trust and the project has been in existence since 2017.

Organisers are in the process of forming a separate SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation).

Arran Geopark’s vision is that “our environment and heritage are conserved, enhanced, and valued for their contribution to people’s well-being and Arran’s sustainability”.

It’s hoped local people and visitors will benefit from an increased understanding and appreciation of the island’s heritage while people will be enticed to visit by the increased visibility provided by the UNESCO designation.

Local businesses could benefit as a result of the global platform afforded by the UNESCO designation.

And young people will be the focus of Geopark’s outreach programme and educational resources.

The funding award for the project director role was agreed by cabinet.

Council leader Marie Burns said: “This is quite an unusal project compared to the other CIF projects.

“I would have asked about the role of the community but I see from the very lengthy list of organisations that the community are very much behind the project.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in