New Cumnock Auld Kirk and Village Heritage Trail wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
The New Cumnock Liaison Group (NCLG) has received £39,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £30,000 funded by Barr Environmental through the landfill Communities Fund for their community based New Cumnock Auld Kirk and Village Heritage Trail project. Led by NCLG volunteers and engaging groups from across the community, the project – which will be completed by the end of the year – focuses on preserving the ruins of the Auld Kirk at the centre-piece of a new village trail that will celebrate the rich heritage of New Cumnock.
Primary School children will carry out research into a cross section of former parishioners resting in the Auld Kirkyard, participate in the design of a kirkyard trail and the creation of an interactive web-site application for use in the classroom and by the general public. The project provides an excellent basis for outdoor learning and to help in the development of the four capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence. Members of the Parish Church and History Club will focus their research into past parish ministers and WWI soldiers resting in the kirkyard or remembered on family tombstones and will participate in design workshops to create kirkyard trails as well as learn new skills in the cleaning and maintenance of tombstones. NCLG volunteers will engage in historical research of key locations throughout the village and participate in the design of interpretation panels and the creation of a village heritage trail to be enjoyed by the community and visitors alike.
In 1650 the parish of Cumnock was sub-divided into the two new parishes of New Cumnock and Old Cumnock. A new church was built to serve New Cumnock and was completed in 1659, a turbulent time in Scotland’s history. Its kirkyard would become the resting place of many parishioners whose lives help to tell the story of New Cumnock. Now in ruins and known fondly as the Auld Kirk it makes a fitting centre-piece for the village heritage trail to be cherished and remembered for putting the ‘new’ in New Cumnock.
Commenting on the awards, NCLG project leader Bobby Guthrie said: “We are thankful and thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Landfill Communities fund. The advice and encouragement from our partner East Ayrshire Council has been invaluable and the willingness of groups from across the community to embrace the project has been excellent and extremely rewarding. Together we look forward to preserving, revealing, sharing and enjoying part of New Cumnock’s story.”
Notes to editors
About New Cumnock Liaison Group (NCLG)
The NCLG was established to facilitate the sustainable regeneration and economic development of New Cumnock. The group comprises volunteers who meet regularly to consider a wide range of projects covering topics such as derelict / disused buildings, sustainable energy, heritage and leisure based pursuits.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.7 billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk