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Interpretive trail promotes the heritage of Brora (15/06/10)
The Brora Village Trail was launched this week (Monday 14th June) with a series of eight panels and an accompanying booklet which aim to promote Brora’s unique natural and industrial heritage.
The project forms the second phase to the village regeneration project funded by The Highland Council’s Planning and Development Service capital programme and has been part financed by the Scottish Government and European Community Leader 2007-2013 programme. The first phase focussed on the upgrading of the streetscape around Fountain Square and Gower Street including seating, the restoration of the Victoria Golden Jubilee fountain and paving inscribed with both poetry and an industrial timeline.
The Planning and Development Service, who project managed the scheme, provided an overall sum of £101k towards both phases enabling leverage for an additional £23k of funding from the Leader programme. The project was developed in partnership with Brora Community Council, Clyne Heritage Society and Brighter Brora.
Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Planning and Development Committee said: “I am delighted to see this magnificent asset to Brora’s natural and cultural heritage now in place. Our thanks go to everyone involved especially Brora Community Council, Clyne Heritage Society, Brighter Brora and local Highland Councillor Deirdre Mackay for her enthusiasm and support. The panels will be a great tourism asset to the area. We are already seeing a noticeable amount of interest in the panels and the booklets are also proving very popular. I am sure that our local schools will also find them useful in their history studies of the area and I thank Brora primary pupils for their support and interest.”
An interpretive plan was produced last year which provided a framework for developing the trail around the various places of interest that may not be immediately obvious to visitors to the area. The trail encourages visitors to stop and explore the locality where they can discover the quaint fishermen’s cottages and harbour of lower Brora, as well as the large expanse of sandy beaches beyond the links of the golf course.
The panels and booklet also reveal that Brora was once ‘The Industrial Capital of the Highlands’. Early industry consisted of coal mining, salt pans and fishing, but the 19th century saw the development of whiskey distilling, brick making and weaving. The trail guides visitors to local landmarks, which include a former war time radio listening station and one of Brora’s most infamous attractions - Capaldi’s ice cream parlour, while telling stories of Brora’s fascinating past.
Booklets are available from a number of outlets locally including Brora Heritage Centre and the Highland Council Service Point.