Local communities in Glasgow will benefit from a new agreement between the Central Scotland Green Network and Glasgow City 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.
Glasgow City 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, Glasgow City Council has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to the CSGN, as expressed through the network’s inclusion in Scotland’s 3rd National Planning Framework, as well as the opportunities the CSGN has to offer.
Glasgow City Council has also pledged to embed the CSGN in all of its policies, strategies and plans where appropriate and to develop and enhance its partnership work to realise the CSGN.
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 Glasgow City Council has come on board and we look forward to building on our relationship to create a lasting legacy for the future.”
Bailie Liz Cameron, Chair of Glasgow's Green Year 2015 and Glasgow City Council's Executive Member for Economic Development, said: "Everyone knows Glasgow as a Dear Green Place and this is something we aim to protect, nurture and grow.
"Green spaces are extremely valuable assets which not only provide homes for nature but also improve air quality and aid people's sense of well-being, giving them a place to take free exercise and safeguard their physical and mental health.
"Joining the CSGN fits perfectly with Glasgow City Council's sustainability agenda and signing this concordat could not be more timely as next year will be Green Year 2015. Twelve months of celebrations and activities are being organised to encourage everyone to get involved with sustainability projects.
"We are delighted to be working in partnership with other CSGN members to promote a sustainable, green economy and to safeguard the environment for future generations."
A number of projects in Glasgow have already benefited from support through the CSGN Development Fund including The Dalmarnock Centre. The project was awarded £198,688 to establish a new social enterprise providing employability and green skills training in forestry and woodland creation and landscape maintenance.
The Dalmarnock Centre initiative includes providing training, work experience, apprenticeships, skills and qualifications for unemployed people from the local community and will see local greenspaces including Auchenshuggle Wood, Cunningar Loop and the Commonwealth Games village enhanced.
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 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.