The Bo’ness area could be enhanced if a partnership project secures nearly £2million in funding.
The Inner Forth project aims to enhance the landscape and celebrate the history of the Inner Forth, an area which includes Bo’ness.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced that RSPB Scotland, on behalf of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, has received £1,975,900, including £75,900 development funding through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme.
Its intention is to reveal the hidden cultural, historical and natural wealth of the upper reaches of the Firth of Forth, restore and conserve important features, open up access, and ultimately leave a legacy of a richer landscape and new facilities for all.
Kate Studd, Inner Forth Landscape Partnership Officer, said: “We’re delighted that we have cleared this all important first hurdle and that the Heritage Lottery Fund recognises the potential of what can be achieved in this landscape.
“The Inner Forth is an area of real conservation and historic importance. Sadly, despite its fascinating history, it is often overlooked and undervalued.
"With this support from HLF, we will be able to work with local communities to take action to protect and celebrate the area’s valuable heritage.”
The project aims to:
The Forth is designated as an internationally important site for birds, providing refuge for thousands of wildfowl and wading birds in winter. The landscape has also been home to Scotland’s industries for centuries, becoming an important trading route with the rest of the world.
Along the coastline, there is evidence of ancient ports and harbours, salt pans, limekilns, mining and whisky production, sitting alongside the industries of today at Grangemouth, Alloa and Longannet. The layers of history and heritage hidden within the landscape create a fascinating story to be told.
Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Convener of leisure, tourism and community at Falkirk Council, said: "This major partnership has been working hard to secure Heritage Lottery funding for the Inner Forth area - in our case, the coastal communities of South Alloa, Dunmore, Airth, Skinflats, Grangemouth, Bo'ness, and Blackness.
"The money could be spent on a variety of heritage-linked projects, such as improving paths, better interpretation and running training schemes - as well as other initiatives. It could provide a real boost for local people and visitors to this area.”
The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) sees local government, charities, and agencies working together with local people to deliver an ambitious vision for the area.
The partnership is formed of RSPB Scotland (lead agency), Scottish Natural Heritage (chair), Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Historic Scotland, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, Falkirk Council, Central Scotland Forest Trust, TCV Scotland, and SUSTRANS.
What do you think about this massive project? Will it be good for Bo’ness? Share your views here at s1bo’ness.