Sustrans is set to award more than £27million in funding to create places across Scotland which make it easier for people to walk, cycle and spend time in.
The news comes less than a month after Scottish Government announced it would double the funding made available to Sustrans’ Community Links Fund to £36million. Increasing the amount available to organisations, including local authorities, housing associations, universities and colleges, national parks and community trusts.
More than 100 projects have already been awarded funding through the first phase of Sustrans’ Community Links programme in 2018, with a further 80 applications waiting for confirmation.
Amongst the projects which have been given support through the fund, are the design of new segregated cycle ways, town-wide active travel strategies and placemaking projects and 20mph schemes.
Community Links funding will also support Scottish Canals’ improvements to the infrastructure between Applecross and Firhill in Glasgow, creating new links to the nearby Claypitts nature reserve.
Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands, said:
“Through the Programme for Government, we have doubled the active travel budget to £80 million so we can offer greater support for the creation of an active nation, where people lead healthier and more active lifestyles. These latest announcements demonstrate real innovation and enthusiasm to realise our objective and put the infrastructure in place that creates environments which encourage walking and cycling in Scotland.
“I look forward to welcoming further announcements in the future as Community Links has a rolling programme of funding until early March 2019.”
Matthew Macdonald, Head of Project Delivery Infrastructure for Sustrans Scotland said:
“Increasing everyday levels of active travel can hugely benefit a person’s health and wellbeing, boost local economies and create greener, more pleasant local environments to live and travel through.
“The high quality of the applications to our Community Links programme, demonstrates the continued commitment from current and new partners to create better places that are safe and attractive for people walking and cycling across the country.
“We have worked hard to carefully select those of the highest quality to fund and we look forward to working with all our partners to ensure the successful delivery of their projects.”
Applicants to Sustrans’ Community Links programme have until March 2019 to apply for funding to improve walking and cycling routes, conditional on them matching the funding provided. With £27m already earmarked for projects, a budget of £9m remains open.