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Funding for growing central belt’s greenspace

Greenspace projects in the central belt can now cash in on funding thanks to an extension of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) development fund.

Organisations can apply for part of the £750,000 available for projects which promote healthier lifestyles, regeneration and enterprise, and help to join up the network, especially in areas suffering from deprivation and dereliction.

For the first time organisations can now bid for three years of financial support, rather than one year as was the case previously.  This new move will allow projects to plan for the longer-term and increase their impact on local environments.

Announcing the funding, Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment said:

“The CSGN is Europe’s biggest greenspace project of its kind and has the ability to make a marked difference to the lives of 3.5 million living in the central belt.

“It is one of our 14 National Developments and is therefore integral to our plans to promote sustainable economic growth and improve quality of life in Central Scotland.

“Through the CSGN, we can create attractive landscapes and increase greenspace to help transform the central belt into a better place to live, work and visit.”

Over the past two years, the CSGN development fund has supported over 100 projects with £2.4 million.

Previous projects have been very wide ranging including community growing spaces on stalled development sites in Glasgow, an employability scheme for young people in woodlands at Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire, a plan to develop the Gartmorn Dam in Clackmannanshire into a green recreational hub and a community forest garden in Pilton.

Keith Geddes, chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Partnership Board, said:

“The £750,000 of funding available will make a significant contribution to projects who are working towards radically improving the central belt.

“For the first time, the new criteria will also allow first time applicants to look to the future and plan for long-term investment as opposed to short-term gains.”

Organisations have until Friday 2nd March 2012 to submit their funding applications to Forestry Commission Scotland.  For more details and the application form, please log onto www.forestry.gov.uk/csgndevelopmentfund.

The CSGN stretches from Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire in the west through to Fife and East Lothian in the east. Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage are lead partners for the CSGN.