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10 January, 2018

Fund to reconnect disadvantaged communities with their green spaces across Scotland’s towns and cities

Across Scotland’s towns and cities, over £300k is now available to groups looking to engage urban communities through nature, under a programme led by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

SNH is leading the scheme as part of its ongoing efforts to expand access to green spaces and encourage people throughout Scotland to feel more connected with nature. Funding will come from the £500k Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund, managed by SNH as part of the Scotland’s European Regional Development Fund Programme.

Following the first round of applications last year, SNH granted £190k to six projects benefiting urban communities across the Central Belt. The projects are all designed to involve people and groups within the community, with an emphasis on helping people see the value of their local green spaces in different ways: for example a project in Cumbernauld aims to increase physical activity and reduce feelings of social isolation amongst those at risk of mental health by encouraging them to volunteer.

Other projects include getting people involved in rewilding green spaces around Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, and increasing the numbers and types of people visiting The Hidden Gardens in Glasgow’s Southside.

Mike Cantlay, SNH Chair, said: “We are always looking for ways to not just make green spaces more attractive and accessible but to encourage people and communities to see the value in improving their local green spaces. Getting out into nature makes people happier, healthier, and more connected to other people in their community. And there are also benefits to local economies: research has shown regular access to nature helps people develop skills and the confidence to seek and find jobs.

“The projects we saw last year set a high bar and we were delighted to see the enthusiasm people had for engaging with their local communities. We look forward to receiving what’s sure to be an equally imaginative set of applications this year. For example, given that 2018 is the Year of Young People, projects may want to think about how to better involve their local youth.”

To be eligible for funding, projects must:

  • be located in a town or city with a population of more than 10,000. Priority is given to projects which benefit one of the 15% lowest areas in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.
  • have a total value of between £50k and £120k. SNH’s funding covers up to 40% of this, with applicants having to find the remaining 60% from match funding or their own resources.
  • primarily involve revenue costs to support the employment of staff or contractors to work with communities (rather than capital spend on physical works).
  • have a planned completion date of no later than 30 September 2019.

 Applications must be submitted by the 3 April 2018.  Further details on eligibility criteria, guidance on how to apply, and details of Q&A sessions for potential applicants are available on SNH’s Green Infrastructure website:


Media queries - contact SNH media & public relations officer Vicki Mowat on 0131 316 2659 or (Tues-Friday) or the Inverness press office on 01463 725022 (Mondays).

Contact information

SNH Media

Notes to editors

The Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund is part of the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention. It is run by SNH on behalf of Scottish Government using money from the 2014-20 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme. In addition to community engagement projects, SNH is supporting major capital infrastructure projects that improve local green spaces within some of our more deprived communities.

Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help people understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

Tha Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba na buidheann comhairleachaidh dhan riaghaltas a thaobh nàdair agus seallaidhean-tìre air feadh Alba. 'S e an dleastanas a th' againn cuideachadh a thoirt do dhaoine gus tuigse, luach agus tlachd fhaighinn bho nàdar na h-Alba, an-dràsta agus san àm ri teachd. Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh, tadhail air  no lean sinn air Twitter aig


GICEFAPP-245-01 - The Hidden gardens - youth beside wildflower plantings - 2017

GICEFAPP-245-01 - The Hidden gardens - youth beside wildflower plantings - 2017

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