Ministers recently indicated in the Main Issues Report for the 3rd National Planning Framework (NPF3) their intention to maintain the National Development status of the CSGN. In the next phase of the project, priorities are likely to include improving routes for walking and cycling, bringing vacant and derelict land back into use, and revitalising areas suffering from economic disadvantage and poor health.
In anticipation of NPF3, FCS and SNH, as lead partners for the initiative, decided to commission a Gateway Review of progress and governance arrangements. The review made a number of recommendations regarding the future of the initiative and Ministers have now approved a number of changes to existing governance arrangements to enable the initiative to build upon the momentum gained to date. The review report is available to download here
Firstly, the Central Scotland Forest Trust, which currently provides support to the project, will undergo a number of changes designed to help it drive forward and coordinate delivery of the CSGN initiative.
Under the new arrangements the new ‘CSGN Trust’ will have significantly increased capacity to work with partners to drive forward improvements on the ground. CSFT will be transformed into the CSGN Trust, with a number of changes to its membership and Articles of Association, and will apply all of its resources to delivering the CSGN initiative.
In addition, a new team has been created within the Scottish Government to coordinate government involvement in the initiative and provide grant support for the Trust. This will help to embed the cross-cutting project within relevant Scottish Government policies and programmes.
Environment & Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:
“The Central Scotland Green Network is a 40 year initiative to transform Central Scotland into a better place to live and work.
“I have seen for myself the good progress that has been made in the first four years of the project and the changes announced today aim to build on the momentum gained to drive forward further improvements.
“These new arrangements will provide greater dedicated resource for local authorities and their partners, whilst also ensuring that support from the Scottish Government is more effectively coordinated.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the initial years of the project for the transformation they have started, which will be of enormous benefit to both the environment and communities. Our aim is to capitalise on the successes they have achieved to date and for CSGN to go from strength to strength.”
Keith Geddes, Chair of the CSGN Partnership Board added:
“I welcome these proposed changes, and the additional support for the CSGN that they will secure.
“The current CSGN Partnership Board is fully supportive of all the proposals and look forward to working with the CSFT Board, Government and regional partners to ensure that the new set-up works as effectively as possible.”
Peter Russell, Chair of CSFT said:
“I am delighted that the Trust will continue to play a critical role in the future development of the CSGN initiative, allowing us to further our charitable objectives.”
The detail of these proposed changes is currently being finalised and it is anticipated that the new arrangements will be fully in place by April 2014.
In the meantime, if you would like any further details about, or would like to discuss the proposed changes please contact Neil Langhorn, Land-use Planning Advisor in FCS on 0131 314 6529 or firstname.lastname@example.org