First two Green Infrastructure projects announced

The first two projects to receive funding through the Green Infrastructure Fund were announced this week by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown. The news release below gives further details.

Mr Brown made the announcement at the Canal & North Gateway site in Port Dundas in Glasgow, which is one of the first two projects to be granted funding under the programme.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) will be the lead partner, managing the European Regional Development Fund’s Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention, which will provide £8.25m to create or improve publicly accessible greenspaces,.

The Fund aims to transform some of Scotland’s most deprived urban areas by developing and improving their green spaces. It focusses on areas where the population is greater than 10,000, and targets areas which fall within the 15% most deprived in Scotland, according to the recently updated Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

The Green Infrastructure Fund is a unique opportunity to create green infrastructure on an unprecedented scale across urban Scotland and provides an exciting chance to deliver noticeable benefits to areas where it is most needed.

The Fund is looking for projects, involving communities right from the start, throughout delivery and into the future. Projects should benefit nature, biodiversity and ecosystems, address environmental quality, flooding and climate change, involve communities and increase participation, increase place attractiveness and competitiveness or improve health and wellbeing.

The first two projects have been approved and will be underway next year, with a further application round due to close in three weeks on 31 October.  The two initial projects, both of which are in Glasgow, are:

Canal & North Gateway – a project to enhance greenspace along the canal corridor between Firhill and Port Dundas, including creation of a local nature reserve and an innovative water management solution based around the Forth & Clyde Canal.

Greater Easterhouse – large scale enhancement of green infrastructure which will give local people links to a wide network of green space including the Seven Lochs area.  The project will also benefit a nationally important population of water voles. Ian Ross, Chairman of SNH’s Board said:

“We’re delighted to be leading on the Green Infrastructure Fund, as we’re ideally placed, given our existing work, to advise on greenspace and green networks. This scale of funding for green infrastructure has never been available before in Scotland and it should make a real difference to people’s lives by providing wonderful greenspaces where they can experience and enjoy nature in their local areas.”

Andrew Thin, Chairman of Scottish Canals, said: “North Glasgow’s canal corridor is in the midst of a transformation which is developing opportunities for business, investment and new prospects for the people who live and work here. It’s already seen the creation of a flourishing cultural quarter featuring the likes of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Scottish Opera; the beginnings of an urban playground with the opening of Scotland’s first urban watersports centre; and improved links between the area and the city centre.

“The support of the Green Infrastructure Fund will help continue that transformation, creating a vibrant greenspace for local communities and visitors alike to enjoy and unlocking swathes of land for regeneration and development. It’s a very exciting time for North Glasgow and the canal at its heart.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I welcome this announcement, which will complement the work the council and our partners have been doing to unlock the potential of these areas.  We have already seen a great of deal of regeneration activity at both Port Dundas and Easterhouse, and this infrastructure investment can help to allow further development to take place there.”

Public sector and third sector organisations are eligible to apply for funding - the closing date for applications for the current round is 31 October 2016. For more information, see the Green Infrastructure Fund website