Published: 29th MAY 2023

ArtRoots Funding for the National Cycle Network in Scotland

ArtRoots is a community fund for art projects along traffic-free National Cycle Network routes in Scotland.

SWG3 Yardworks Festival 2023 received a grant from ArtRoots to commission artists to paint largescale artworks on the railway arches.

SWG3 Yardworks Festival 2023 received a grant from ArtRoots to commission artists to paint largescale artworks on the railway arches. The artwork was created by artist Shona Hardie. Credit: Sustrans, 2023.

ArtRoots offers grants up to £6,000 to enable communities to produce art projects along their local, traffic-free National Cycle Network routes.

Community-led art projects can enhance neighbourhoods and encourage more people to explore their local areas by walking, wheeling and cycling.

ArtRoots inspires communities to shape their local environment by making traffic-free routes more attractive and accessible for everyone.

The fund also supports projects led by organisations and individuals who can demonstrate strong community involvement, consultation and engagement.

Previous ArtRoots-supported projects include:

  • Temporary installations
  • Performances and events
  • Sculptures
  • Heritage signs
  • Information boards
  • Murals.

ArtRoots supported the community-led Positive Imaginings children's climate circus along National Cycle Network Route 1 in Craigmillar, Edinburgh. Credit: Sustrans Scotland

What makes a successful ArtRoots project?

A successful ArtRoots project will:

  • Put the power of creative change into the hands of the community
  • Raise awareness of local traffic-free National Cycle Network routes for everyone to use
  • Demonstrate strong knowledge of the local area and what artistic contribution could make the best improvement to the environment
  • Make traffic-free National Cycle Network routes more enjoyable and attractive places to explore
  • Encourage and build confidence in local communities to use active travel (walking, wheeling and cycling) to visit or experience the project.

Supported by the ArtRoots fund, the community of Colinton transformed a 140m-long traffic-free former railway tunnel along National Cycle Network Route 75 by bringing to life Robert Louis Stevenson's poem "From a Railway Carriage." Credit: Sustrans Scotland

Who can apply for a grant?

This fund is for constituted community groups based in Scotland.

We will also consider applications from non-constituted groups, organisations and individuals.

How much support can I apply for?

The standard grant awarded for an ArtRoots project is £2,500.

A higher award of up to £6,000 is available for projects which can demonstrate how an increased award would significantly impact project outcomes and achieve a greater increase in new walking, wheeling and cycling journeys.

Successful applicants can claim the funding in advance of their project commencing or after the completion of the project.

ArtRoots does not require any match funding.

When can I apply for funding?

The 2024-2025 ArtRoots funding round is open for new applications until 15th October 2024. 

Total annual funding is limited, so preference will be given to applications submitted by 1st September 2024. 

What is the application process?

  1. Read the ArtRoots Guidelines. The document provides an overview of the key elements to consider before applying.
  2. Complete an Expression of Interest form.
  3. You will then be contacted within two weeks by a Sustrans officer who will either request further information from you or advise you on how to make a full application via the Sustrans Portal.
  4. You then have 3 weeks to submit your application and supporting documents via the Sustrans Portal.  
  5. Within two weeks, your application will be approved/declined or you will be given further feedback.
  6. If the application is successful you will be required to sign a grant agreement.
  7. The grant can then be claimed. Please note that it can take up to four weeks to receive the funds after submission of a grant claim.
  8. At the end of the project, you will be required to produce and submit a final project report with evaluation, feedback and photographs.
Children holding lit up umbrellas at The Circus of Light

Over a period of six weeks, young people took part in circus and craft workshops run by Think Circus in Craigmillar, Edinburgh. Credit: Colin Hattersley

Blockquote quotation marks
Art not only breathes creativity and joy into our public spaces, but it also supports community cohesion as well as encouraging more people in Scotland to walk, wheel and cycle for their everyday journeys. Blockquote quotation marks
Emilia Hanna, Head of Programme, National Cycle Network

Artroots funded projects

Since it was established in 2017, the ArtRoots fund has supported over 80 community-led projects along the National Cycle Network in Scotland. 

You can find out more about previous projects, with images and details, through our ArtRoots Map and our interactive Introduction to ArtRoots StoryMap.

You can find out more about the local history and inspiration behind some recently delivered ArtRoots projects along the National Cycle Network in Scotland below:


If you have any questions about the fund, please contact our ArtRoots team by email at, or by phone on 07971009400.

British Sign Language (BSL) users in Scotland can contact us direct by using ContactSCOTLAND-BSL

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