ArtRoots Funding for the National Cycle Network in Scotland

Drover's Bho bull metal sculpture

Drover's Bho is a metal sculpture installed next to the NCN path in the village of Strathyre

Carrbridge's carved bridge

This artwork made of wood was commissioned to mark the 300th anniversary of the bridge in Carrbridge, the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands

The ArtRoots fund is a community fund for artistic and aesthetic improvements to the National Cycle Network in Scotland.

The fund enables and empowers communities to make improvements to the National Cycle Network (NCN) for the benefit of place quality, enjoyment and active travel.

Why fund this?

Not only do art and aesthetic improvements provide a message that the path and its users are important, 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. 

Art is an essential part of enjoyment of public spaces and placemaking, encouraging more to travel actively.

- John Lauder, Sustrans National Director, Scotland

Who can apply for a grant?

This fund is for constituted community groups based in Scotland.

How much can be applied for?

Grants of up to £2,000 are available.

When can I apply for a grant?

Constituted community groups based in Scotland who would like to make improvements to the artworks along their local NCN route are being asked to fill in an online expression of interest form.

We will be accepting expression of interest forms between Monday December 11 2017 and Monday 29 January 2018 at 17:00.

The closing date for full applications will be Monday February 19 2018.

The fund is not open all year-round but has different funding rounds in summer and winter. 

Artroots funded projects

Drover’s Bho, NCN7 in Strathyre

Loch Earn Tourism Information (LETi) applied for a grant to have a sculpture made and installed next to the NCN path in the village of Strathyre. Their idea was to have a cow to represent the old drover’s route through the village. 

After securing the grant they met with an artist and blacksmith who makes animals out of metal with unique features and designs. The chosen cow (‘bho’ is cow in Gaelic) has a thistle in its mouth to nod to the thistle award LETi received the previous year for its BLiSS artwork trail. The coo also has a mouse eating a blackberry on its head for intrigue and humour.

After the artist, Kev Paxton, and his team from ArtFe installed Drover’s Bho in Strathyre, the community got together to create the hillock for it to sit on.

Drover’s Bho is now a part of the award-winning BLiSS art trail which encourages people to walk and cycle between the 23 artworks.

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

Carrbridge’s carved bridge

2017 marked the 300th anniversary of the bridge in Carrbridge, making it the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands.

To celebrate this occasion the Carrbridge Tourism and Business Association applied to the ArtRoots fund for a grant. Carrbridge holds a hugely popular annual chainsaw carving competition.

The group combined the 300th anniversary of the bridge with this annual event to create a chainsaw carved bridge. They accepted designs from many carvers, the winning design using the bridge as seating with carvings depicting the village and local wildlife on two uprights.

The wood was donated from a local estate after a tree needed to be felled for safety. Over the summer of 2017 regular updates of the artwork in progress were put on social media and the opening event was planned to coincide with the year’s carving competition.

Read the full ArtRoots Fund Guidelines

If you have any questions about the fund, please contact Cosmo Blake