This news story is now over a year old and information may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. It might also contain obsolete links.
Please use our search link on the left to look for more recent information.
Projects that breathe new life into vacant and derelict land, boost active travel and improve the lives of disadvantaged communities can now share in a £500,000 cash boost.
The new funding, from the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund, aims to kick start projects which transform the quality of life for people living and working in the central belt.
The funding announcement was made by Environment & Climate Change Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, today (1st October) during a tour of an innovative greenspace project in the heart of Edinburgh.
Located at Fountainbridge, the new project is spending the next five years transforming an unused area of vacant land into a vibrant hub of activity for the benefit of the community and business.
Mr Wheelhouse said:
“This is a forward thinking project and part of the wider Central Scotland Green Network programme which is all about creating quality greenspace for people and business and with gains for our environment.
“If left alone, this small derelict area would have sat empty, until developed, and offered no contribution to the capital city in the meantime. Now we will see the area become a vibrant greenspace attraction.
“The project is a good example of how partners can work together to pool resources and with some development funding, transform an area for the better.”
Now open to the public, the Fountainbridge site has been greened up with paths lined by container-planted trees, wildflower and grass planting and a central mound with a feature tree – a Scots Pine, Scotland’s national tree.
Future plans involve building walking links to the Union Canal and the creation of an arts wall.
The temporary greenspace project at Fountainbridge is being led by Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) with support from a range of partners including Forestry Commission Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council and the Central Scotland Green Network Trust.
Charlie Cumming Chief Executive of ELGT added:
“A project like this at a high-profile city centre site shows how partnership working can bring a temporarily vacant space into multi-functional use.
“Opening up stalled spaces such as this can invigorate a local area with massive positive benefits to the local community, playing host to events and activities which otherwise would not have happened.”
Over the past 5 years, the CSGN Development Fund has supported over 150 projects with almost £5.3 million.
Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, said:
“This significant extension to our Development Fund will ensure the CSGN continues to support a wide range of environmental enhancements across the central belt of Scotland to create valuable greenspace resources for local communities to enjoy.
“We are encouraging organisations to apply for funding to bring previously unused pieces of vacant and derelict land back into beneficial use and this year’s fund is also looking for projects which deliver a boost to active travel and improve the lives of disadvantaged communities.”
Cllr Lesley Hinds, City of Edinburgh Council Environment Convener, said:
"This is a great example of making the most of our vacant land, and will doubtlessly provide a valuable hub for the community.
"We know how much quality green space means to a city like Edinburgh, and this will provide just that on an otherwise vacant piece of land."
The closing date for applications to the Central Scotland Scotland Green Network Development Fund is 26 November. Full details can be found on www.csgn.org.uk.
Notes to news editors
1. The Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund is supported with £500,000 from Forestry Commission Scotland.
2. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
3. For news, events and recreation information log on to: www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests or https://twitter.com/FCScotlandNews
4. The FCS agobair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridhcoilltearachdRiaghaltasna h-Alba agus a’ riaghladhnan 660,000 heactaireanann an OighreachdnaCoilleNàiseanta, a’ dìonadh, a’ cumailsmachd air agus a’ leudachadhnancoillteangusbuannachdan a thoirtdhacoimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidhagus, agobair an aghaidhatharrachadhgnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
5. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0300 067 6508.