Green cash boosts central belt’s economic prospects


Thirty eight greenspace projects in the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) area are to share in a £2.2 million funding boost.

The cash will help kickstart a variety of projects aimed at revitalising the region into a better place for people to live and do business in.

Youth employment initiatives, community growing, path network upgrades and projects transforming vacant or derelict land into attractive greenspace will receive funding.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson announced the funding. He said:

“The CSGN project is the biggest greenspace project of its kind in Europe. The area involved is huge with 70 per cent of Scotland’s population potentially being affected.

“The long-term plan is to transform the central belt into a more vibrant place with better economic potential for business.

“The funding announced today will act as a catalyst in preparing the way to bringing change to life right across the central belt.

“I am pleased that the projects will directly improve the environment but also give many young unemployed people a chance to improve their employment prospects for the future.”

The funding comes from the Central Scotland Green Network Development fund which is administered by Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, which are both joint leaders of the CSGN project. The fund has been boosted with a £450,000 contribution from the Scottish Government.

Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network added:

“Delivering the CSGN is a long-term initiative and we rely on local environmental projects to help us deliver a greener, stronger, healthier central belt on the ground.

“It is fantastic that the CSGN Development Fund is able to give these 38 projects some financial support towards their work which will not only bring environmental benefits across the 19 local authorities, but also have a positive impact on business and employment, health and wellbeing, and community spirit.”

Amongst the projects to receive funding are:

Fife Council: £46,346 to support the creation of a Core Path Implementation Team in Fife. They will recruit young unemployed people between 16-24 over a two year period to undertake a programme of signage and improvement works to the path network.

The Dalmanock Centre: £198,688 for a new employability and green skills programme in forestry, woodland creation and landscape maintenance. Unemployed people will be given apprenticeships, training, skills and qualifications whilst on the programme.

The Cassiltoun Trust: £133,544 for a two year employability programme for young unemployed people to help revitalise the woodlands and path network in Castlemilk.

Glasgow City Council: £115,000 to plan, design and implement four site specific green network projects across the city. The project will use the four sites as pilots to learn more about climate change adaptation issues including flood risks, greenspace deficits, transforming derelict land and water quality

City of Edinburgh Council: £46,346 to create a natural play facility within Magdalene Glen, an area identified as a priority for improvement for communities.

The CSGN stretches from Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire in the west through to Fife and East Lothian in the east.

For further information on funded projects, please see our funding page or contact Steve Williams in the Forestry Commission Scotland Press Office (0131 314 6508).

Vacancy- Central Scotland Ranger

Central Scotland Forest Trust, working in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland, are recruiting for a Central Scotland Outreach Ranger to woek across the Central Scotland Conservancy Area.

This is a fixed term appointment of two years, full time post (35 hours per week). You will work in partnership with a wide range of community groups to support the expansion of health, education and engagement projects within woodlands across the Central Scotland area. This post will be based at the Forestry Commission Scotland office in Hamilton.

For full details on the vacancy, see information on the Central Scotland Forest Trust website.

SUDs for Roads

The Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) and the Scottish Sustainable Drainage Systems Working Party (SUDSWP) have developed a whole life costing and whole life carbon tool for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).

The tool, which supports the “SUDS for Roads” guidance manual, can be used as part of the SUDS selection criteria to provide evidence to support the appropriate selection of SUDS in different developments.

It will allow designers, developers and Local Authorities to cost and compare the construction and maintenance costs and carbon emissions of various SUDS for Roads schemes, and can be used by the industry free of charge. You can download the tool and user guidelines online.

For further information, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

West Dunbartonshire Green Network Opportunities Mapping

Building on earlier work for Glasgow and Clyde Valley (GCV) Strategic Development Plan, the GCV Green Network Partnership has developed a GIS-based approach to identifying strategic regional opportunities for delivery of the CSGN in West Dunbartonshire. This has been incorporated into the Main Issues Report (MIR) for the new Local Development Plan which was published for consultation in March 2012.

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Waterspace Strategy Consultation

British Waterways Scotland (BWS) is consulting on its Waterspace Strategy which is seeking to explore how more people can live, work and play on the water.

Over the past decade, tremendous progress has been made on the bankside but BWS believes that there is still much that can be achieved on the water. For example, boaters want more activity and amenities on and off the water, communities want an attractive, lively canal and the Scottish Government and our local partners want a vibrant waterway which delivers real value for waterside communities and attracts tourists, commerce and investment.

BWS are welcoming comments and ideas until 11 May.

Call for Business Case Studies

Do you know of a business that’s going the extra mile to create a better greener Scotland?

The CSGN Support Unit are looking to profile a number of commercial enterprises across Scotland which are embracing environmental activities and actions. In researching this project, we’ve found lots of examples of companies changing their internal practices (e.g. reducing waste and energy consumption), but what we’re most interested in is identifying businesses who have gone the next step and have undertaken outdoor projects to enrich the local landscape or their local greenspace for people and wildlife.

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John Muir Way Update

Early thinking on a launch event in 2014 is underway as part of a year of John Muir centenary celebrations. Later this year a Scottish Parliament Reception for CSGN will take place which will focus on the John Muir Way.

With a strapline ‘from birthplace to National Park’, reflecting its start in East Lothian and a destination in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, the route is largely confirmed.

By extending the route past Balloch to Helensburgh we also hope to attract coast to coast walkers too, and we continue to explore upgrading of the River Kelvin Walkway to bring a spur into the heart of Glasgow. Suggested works required to upgrade the main route from Dunbar to Helensburgh have been costed at £626K prior to 2014. SNH has allocated £440K over 12\13 and 13\14 as a contribution (70%) to route implementation and promotion, leaving £184K in matching funding to be secured.

An Economic Benefits Study commissioned to test the viability of the route has stimulated interest in some local authorities, particularly from economic and tourism staff and from the media.

The Technical Survey is now complete and the report is being finalised. SNH is meeting with partners along the route to progress implementation discussions and resolve the future management and maintenance of the route.

We are also starting to look at options for website development and guidebook preparation. Details on route stages, accommodation, facilities, transport, places of natural, historical and cultural interest, and links to local path networks, including horseriding opportunities etc., will be covered by this work.

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