Local communities in East Ayrshire will benefit from a unique agreement between the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) and East Ayrshire Council, which will help to improve the social, physical, cultural and environmental well-being of the area.
The CSGN is Europe’s largest greenspace initiative which seeks to transform Central Scotland into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality.
East Ayrshire Council has signed up to the CSGN’s Local Authority Concordat, which recognises its commitment to formally help deliver the CSGN vision and highlights the fundamental role local authorities have to play in helping to achieve the network’s aims.
In signing up to the scheme, East Ayrshire Council has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to the CSGN, as expressed through the network’s inclusion in Scotland’s second National Planning Framework, as well as the opportunities the CSGN has to offer.
East Ayrshire Council has also pledged to embed the CSGN in all relevant policies, strategies and plans and to enhance its partnership work to realise the CSGN, and in particular sustainable economic development in East Ayrshire.
Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Partnership Board, said: “In order to achieve the CSGN aims of delivering a high quality green network that will meet the Scottish Government’s environmental, social and economic objectives, we need to share resources, best practice and new thinking.
“Our Local Authority Concordat represents a collective understanding that working in partnership will ensure policies and resources are aligned and will in turn achieve the optimum results for all parties involved. I hugely welcome the fact that East Ayrshire Council has come on board and we look forward to building on our relationship to create a lasting legacy for the future.”
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “The Central Scotland Green Network is a really exciting project for East Ayrshire. It presents an excellent opportunity to not only improve our environment, but also to stimulate local economic growth by making East Ayrshire a place where businesses want to invest. East Ayrshire Council is fully committed to working with its partners to delivering the CSGN and I am therefore delighted to be able to cement this commitment by signing the Concordat.”
Six projects in East Ayrshire have already benefited from support through the CSGN Development Fund including East Ayrshire Woodlands which was recently awarded £25,700 to create a series of ‘greenspace journey trails’ leading from currently vacant and derelict sites to forest school sites within existing woodlands throughout Ayrshire.
Stretching from Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east, the CSGN encompasses 19 local authorities across 10,000 sq km and has the potential to benefit 3.5million people, equating to 70 per cent of Scotland’s population.
The CSGN is encouraging other local authorities across Central Scotland to follow in the footsteps of East Ayrshire Council by signing its Local Authority Concordat.
The agreement marks a significant step forward in bringing together the right expertise, resources and people, in order to realise an ambitious project which will help to make Central Scotland a more attractive and distinctive place to live, to visit and to do business in.