On September 26, 2018, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) announced a further £8 million funding, the latest phase of its ambitious Green Infrastructure Fund, which is bringing nature back to urban Scotland.
From weirs and wetlands, to urban nature reserves, to natural play areas and parks, the search is now on for 10 projects that help nature bloom in the most disadvantaged areas of Scotland’s towns and cities.
The Fund—SNH’s largest to date for improving the urban environment in Scotland’s towns and cities—is being deployed in two phases.
The first is due to complete in 2019, and will deliver 7 major capital infrastructure projects and 12 community engagement projects, including:
- Transformation of a derelict golf course in South Lanarkshire into a new urban park;
- Outdoor recreational space in the Middlefield community in Aberdeen, with weirs and wetlands helping reduce the town’s flood risk; and
- Creation of a Local Nature Reserve and new water management scheme around the Forth & Clyde Canal in Glasgow, opening up surrounding vacant and derelict sites for regeneration.
SNH announced that it’s inviting bids for a share in a further £8 million funding from up to 10 major projects. It is expected the successful projects will support some of Scotland’s more deprived urban communities to make best use of their local environment, help tackle the effects of climate change, attract business and boost job opportunities.
The overall value of the Green Infrastructure Fund’s program of work over both phases is in the region of £40 million. The Green Infrastructure Fund is part of the Scottish Government’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) program.
Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment & Innovation, welcomed the new funding: “£8million funding for projects to make our urban spaces greener is great news for people across towns and cities in Scotland. It represents the next phase of the Green Infrastructure Fund, building on fantastic work already achieved in Phase 1 like creating a local nature reserve on the Forth & Clyde Canal in north Glasgow. That all started off thanks to the desire of Friends of Possilpark Greenspace to improve their local green space, and this money will back projects with a similar goal in mind.”
“The Green Infrastructure fund supports the Scottish Government’s National Outcome on the environment, and we are committed to ensuring all communities can engage with and benefit from nature and green space. Thanks to this money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), we can support this aim and help to make a real difference to how people in some of Scotland’s more deprived urban communities engage with their local environment,” he continued.
Mike Cantlay, Chair of SNH said: “We are hugely excited to announce this latest phase in our Green Infrastructure Fund. We want to hear from innovative projects that want to help make beautiful green places to live, work and visit, and are also great for business. We know that living and working in and around nature brings huge benefits for physical and mental health. But in some areas, there is little or no opportunity to access the simple things this brings us– grass, trees, bees and insects.”
Cantlay added, “It is crucial that people living in our towns and cities have the opportunity to love, use and value their nature, and feel happier, healthier and have a greater ownership of their own communities. We want to do all we can to help see reductions in health inequalities, and at the same time increase the value and understanding of what nature can do for all of us.”
The funding round opened September 26, 2018, and closes January 28, 2019.
Decisions on the successful projects will be announced in Spring 2019.
Featured image shows people exercising beside the Forth and Clyde canal in Glasgow. ©Lorne Gill/SNH.
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