Community Links grant programme

See our Community Links Portfolio below to find out about some of our exciting infrastructure projects from the past five years.

Sustrans Scotland‘s Community Links grant programme provides grant funding to local authorities, statutory bodies and educational institutions for the creation of cycle network infrastructure for everyday journeys.

Find out more about some of the exciting projects delivered through the programme in the past five years in our Community Links Portfolio.

The programme is a key component in the delivery of the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland vision that “by 2020, 10% of all journeys taken in Scotland will be by bike”. 

The objectives of the Community Links Programme are to:

  • Create infrastructure that encourages people to cycle, walk or use another active travel mode as their preferred mode of travel for everyday journeys;
  • Meet the needs of communities: provide communities with the opportunity to shape their local environment and link the places people live in with the places they want to get to;
  • Encourage innovation: support partner organisations in raising the standard of infrastructure for walking and cycling in Scotland;
  • Encourage placemaking which facilitates greater use of public space and higher levels of active travel;
  • Create an enabling environment for active travel that limits the speed and volume of motorised vehicles while improving the walking and cycling experience, such as traffic calming measures and implementing filtered permeability.

The Community Links Programme has been running since 2010 and has funded over 500 projects to date. The programme is funded through the Transport Scotland Sustainable Transport team within the Scottish Government.

How to apply

Sustrans encourages applications from all sectors where active travel can support the aims of a project including: health, housing, transport, environment, communities, education, regeneration and economic development. If you are not part of a local authority or Statutory body (such as a community group or Trust) and would like to apply for Community Links funding, please liaise with your local authority as they may be able to apply on your behalf.

Applications for funding can be made via our grant application portal, which you can register on at any time.

Our Application Portal will be open to receiving applications for the 2017/18 round of the Community Links Programme from Monday the 23rd of January 2017. The initial deadline for submissions will be on Friday the 24th of February 2017 and successful applications will be announced by the end of April 2017. However, based on previous years, we expect that some of this funding will not be spent – due to cost savings or delivery issues.  Under such circumstances we would look to reallocate underspend to eligible projects. As such, following the February deadline the application portal will remain open for applications throughout the year allowing us to allocate any underspend at various intervals*. If no underspend funds become available, applications which are deemed eligible will be taken forward into the 18/19 funding round. Applications for underspend will be judged against the same criteria as a project submitted during the usual annual funding round and support is, as always, available from your Community Links Project Officer. 

In previous years there has been a requirement for 50% match funding towards each project that Community Links provides funding for. However, this year we are able to match all appropriate investment in Active Travel infrastructure across a local authority area. E.g.: If you are installing a toucan crossing in one town, you can match this investment with Community Links spending in another town. We hope that this will make it easier for our partners to bring forward even more, high quality active travel projects for Community Links Funding.

More detail on the programme’s aims and objectives are available in the Community Links Guide 2017-18 and the criteria against which applications are marked can be viewed in the Criteria Document. Sustrans encourages applications from all sectors where active travel can support the aims of a project including: health, housing, transport, environment, communities, education, regeneration and economic development.

Application Timeline:


Community Links Raising the Standards Day

29 November 2016

Community Links 2016/17 Criteria released

29 November 2016

Online application system available for use

23 January 2017

Application deadline for submissions

24 February 2017 @ 13:00hrs

Application review

From January to March 2017

Funding decision

By the end of April 2017








You can contact the Community Links team for advice at or 0131 346 3019.


Community Links Projects 2016-17

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