Published: 25th JUNE 2019

ArtRoots Funding for the National Cycle Network in Scotland

ArtRoots is a community fund for artistic and aesthetic improvements to traffic-free paths along the National Cycle Network in Scotland.

Artist Chris Rutterford painting at the Colinton Tunnel, NCN 75. ArtRoots has supported the Colinton Tunnel project with funding.

ArtRoots enables and empowers communities to make improvements to the National Cycle Network for the benefit of place quality, enjoyment and active travel.

The fund supports local enterprise and culture, whilst also showcasing talent, intergenerational co-operation, expression, and creating a platform for youngsters to be heard through their arts.

It also encourages communities to participate in shaping their local environment and increase their levels of physical activity.

Why fund this?

Not only do art and aesthetic improvements provide a message that the path and its users are important, but they can also make a journey more enjoyable and increase user confidence in the route they are on.

We hope to encourage more people to travel by bike or foot, and by making cycle routes more attractive and enjoyable more people could be encouraged to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper methods of travel.

Communities have the best knowledge of their local area and often the best ideas for how to improve it – we want to put the power to make improvements into the hands of the community.

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.

How much can be applied for?

The standard grant for ArtRoots projects will be £2,500.

However, a higher award of £5,000 may be available if applicants can demonstrate that the higher funding award would significantly impact on the outcome and achieve a greater increase in new active travel journeys.

When can I apply for funding?

Funding rounds typically run every two months. Community groups are encouraged to submit an expression of interest at any point in the year.

What is the application process?

  1. Download the ArtRoots Fund Guidelines. The document provides a brief overview of the key elements to consider prior to applying for
    the fund.
  2. Complete an Expression of Interest form.

When will I find out if my application has been successful?

The closing date for full applications for the current funding round will be advised upon receipt of a group's expression of interest.

Indicative dates are provided in the guideline document.

Blockquote quotation marks
Art is an essential part of the enjoyment of public spaces and placemaking, encouraging more to travel actively. Blockquote quotation marks
John Lauder, Sustrans National Director, Scotland

Artroots funded projects

Colinton Tunnel, National Cycle Network Route 75, Edinburgh

ArtRoots supported the Colinton Tunnel Project in bringing to life Robert Louis Stevenson's poem 'From a Railway Carriage' through bright, exciting artwork and lettering by artist Chris Rutterford.

With help from local residents, community organisations and school children, the project, which will be Scotland’s largest heritage mural when complete, has transformed the old railway tunnel for people walking, cycling and wheeling, and has become an attraction in its own right.

Local young people attend the Circus From The Sea Glow Parade in Leith, supported by ArtRoots

Circus from the Sea, National Cycle Network Route 75, Leith

Organised and run by ThinkCircus, ArtRoots supported an engagement programme and event for local residents and community groups along Route 75 in Leith.

The project culminated in a day-long event featuring bike decoration and face-painting, led rides along National Cycle Network Route 75 and a sea-themed circus performance from local young people and a circus troupe.


If you have any questions about the fund, please contact our ArtRoots Team by emailing

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