Greenspace projects that will improve the environment across Scotland's central belt can now apply for a share of a £350,000 funding boost, contributing to the delivery of Europe’s largest greenspace initiative.
The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Development Fund will support green active travel, woodland creation and community growing projects, helping to enhance the quality of life for the 3.8m residents living and working in the central Scotland area.
The CSGN seeks create an environment which supports sustainable economic growth, allows central Scotland to thrive in a changing climate and encourages healthy lifestyles and good physical and mental wellbeing.
Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, launched the fund today (19 December) during a visit to The Leamy Foundation’s ‘Better Views’ social gardening project. The innovative community growing initiative, a previous development fund recipient, is breathing life back into unused areas of vacant and derelict land, creating a community resource that will increase physical activity, local community resilience and reduce social isolation.
Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, said: “This new round of development funding will help to establish and support projects like the Leamy Foundation’s, which are contributing to the delivery of the CSGN.
“Projects like these are helping communities where it is needed most, and we are pleased that through this funding we are able to continue supporting a wide range of environmental enhancements across the central belt to improve the lives of the people living and working there.”
Now in its 10th year, the CSGN Development fund has distributed nearly £7m to over 160 projects.
Environment Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “The CSGN touches on many different aspects of the Scottish Government’s agenda from the environment, to the economy and health. By focusing on disadvantaged communities, the CSGN Development Fund plays an important role in empowering communities to create places that are inclusive, resilient and a source of local pride that encourage people to get out and get active.
“I hope to see a wide range of projects being supported by this latest round of funding.”
The Better Views project puts residents in the lead role to deliver wellbeing themed social gardening workshops. This is helping people transform vacant greenspace into positive community spaces containing orchards, raised beds, soft fruit forests, wildflower meadows and regular workshop activities, open to all.
Kevin Mason, Project Development Manager at The Leamy Foundation, said: “CSGN funding has enabled residents to establish Better Views; a community led social gardening network across several locations in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire.
“It has led to residents taking an active part in the development of their local community, establishing three new community led groups. 92% of participating residents reported a positive change in their wellbeing. Such has been the level of interest and participation, residents have extended their activities into local schools and nurseries, creating growing spaces and working with teachers and families to deliver sow and grow lessons.”
The closing date for applications to the CSGN Development Fund is 4 March 2019. For further information please visit www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org/resources/funding/csgn-development-fund. The CSGN Development Fund is administered by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust and supported by Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.