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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.
Notes to news
1. The full list of projects is available by calling the FCS press office on the number below. The CSGN Development Fund money comes from Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Government.
2. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
3. For events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests. For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotland.
4. For more details of the CSGN, log on to www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org. 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”.
5. Scottish Natural Heritage is the Government’s advisor on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. For further information on SNH, please visit www.snh.gov.uk.
6. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.