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Six projects across the central belt are to share in £242,000 of funding that will improve access to high quality greenspace for local people.
The projects are focussed on areas of deprivation and transforming derelict land for the benefit of the community.
Delivering skills training for young unemployed people and improving health are also key outcomes from the projects.
The projects, supported through the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) development fund, are based in Glasgow, Fife, Ayrshire and Falkirk.
Welcoming the funding, Environment & Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse, said:
“The long-term aim of the CSGN project is to make the central belt a better place to live and work within, by delivering a high quality environment for everybody.
"The six projects that will receive funding as a result of today’s announcement will all have a positive impact on their surrounding communities in Glasgow, North Ayrshire, Fife and Falkirk Council areas. Added to this, some of the projects will directly provide training and employment for young, unemployed people – and this is great news given our desire to support young people into positive destinations.”
In addition to the funding announcement, communities and businesses are also set to benefit from a strengthening of how the CSGN project is to be delivered from 1st April.
The Central Scotland Forest Trust, which currently provides support for the project, will change its name to the Central Scotland Green Network Trust.
The new Trust will devote its entire resources to working with local authorities, regional partners, landowners, environmental and community groups to drive forward the CSGN project.
Keith Geddes, Chair of the CSGN Partnership Board added:
“On behalf of the wider CSGN initiative, I welcome the creation of the new Central Scotland Green Network Trust which will play a fundamental role in driving forward the project’s vision.
“This significant extension to the CSGN development fund will make a considerable contribution to projects working towards improving the central belt on the ground, for the benefit of local communities, businesses and the environment.”
The six projects to receive CSGN funding are:
Glasgow: A further £100,000 towards the Camlachie Multifunctional Greenspace project which aims to improve greenspace on derelict land in the east end of the city, close to the Commonwealth Games village.
Glasgow: £59,200 for the Castlemilk Community Woodlands project to provide a further 30 individuals with skills training to improve their job prospects, whilst delivering improvements to the local woodlands.
North Ayrshire: £17,700 towards the Connecting Communities – Kilbirnie Green Network project to restore a number of derelict sites and to connect greenspaces in the town for the community.
Fife: £16,845 to deliver parts of the long distance Fife Pilgrimage Route in and around the settlements of Crosshill, Lochore, Balairvie and Kennoway and to link them to Lochore Meadows Country Park.
Fife: £28,950 to support the Core Paths and Greenspace Team, which will provide work experience and training for 8 young unemployed people. The team will work on a range of greenspace and path improvement projects in Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Buckhaven and Benarty
Falkirk: £20,000 for the Communities Along the Carron Association to complete the Carron Loop project - a six mile walking and cycling route connecting the communities of Larbert, Stenhousemuir, New Carron and Camelon.
The additional £242,695 of CSGN funding is on top of £5.047M which has already been allocated to 119 projects over the past 5 years.
Notes to news editors
1. For more details on the six projects to receive CSGN development fund support please contact the number at the end of this news release.
2. At its AGM and Board meeting on 27th March, the Central Scotland Forest Trust will change its name to the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, and approve a number of changes to its Articles of Association and Board membership which will allow it to take on an enhanced role in supporting the delivery of the CSGN initiative. For further details about the changes to the Trust contact: Simon Rennie, CSGNT on 01501 824 770
3. The Scottish Government’s second National Planning Framework, June 2009 identifies the CGSN as a national priority, which will deliver:
“...a step change in environmental quality, woodland cover and recreational opportunities...[and] make Central Scotland a more attractive place to live in, do business and visit; help to absorb CO²; enhance biodiversity; and promote active travel and healthier life styles”.
4. For more information on the CSGN please log on to www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org.
5. Forestry Commission Scotland works as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
6. Scottish Natural Heritage is the Government’s advisor on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Its role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland’s nature now and in the future. For further information on SNH, please visit our website at www.snh.gov.uk
7. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508. For the CSGN please contact Roanna Katz, BIG Partnership on 0141 333 9585.