The Landscape Gateway project was a project that was initiated by the Cairngorms National Park Authority and The Crown Estate using shovel ready funding that was made available from the Scottish Government. The overall aim of the project is to deliver a more welcoming and visually appealing entrance gateway that would entice people into the village of Tomintoul by opening up views of the village and the surrounding landscape.
The village gateway had been identified as part of the regeneration strategy development and consultation as something that would improve the area and was also a priority given that it was part of the Commercial Forest plan for the Crown Estate and if left to be felled as part of the plan would become a clear fell site within the next five years. This was clearly an option that no stakeholder or community members wanted to see happen.
In December 2012 the CNPA issued a tender for consultants to design the new gateway entrance, TGDT, CNPA and The Crown Estate reviewed all tenders submitted and Ian White Associates were appointed. Nick Bowen then prepared an initial concept design for discussion.
A consultation event was held in February 2013 to present the initial concept for the gateway and to get the community’s feedback. It was acknowledged at this stage that this was a long term project and the images presented would not be reflective of the site within the first few years. As with any forestry and ground works it would take a number of years for the project to bed in. The design presented was by no means the final design and was to be amended to reflect everyone’s views, including the Landowner.
A further consultation was undertaken with a cross spectrum of community members and business owners regarding the gateway signage and a village entry sign for Tomintoul. After a number of revisions a design was presented, along with the amended gateway design, at the TGDT AGM. The new village signage will be placed at both ends of the village and the new brand can be used in further promotion for the area, establishing a strong identity. The Trust received very positive feedback from over 60 community representatives attending.
The project is on schedule to deliver all the aspects of the design, including native tree planting, new amenity grass areas, views of Tomintoul and the surrounding areas, a new footpath including an extension onto village pavements to improve safety, new village entry signage and brand. Work is due to be completed on the project in May, on schedule for the summer season ahead.