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03 October, 2017

Work begins on multimillion pound Green Infrastructure projects

 Close to £20 million will be spent transforming urban green spaces, says Scottish Natural Heritage

Work has begun on one of seven major urban greenspace projects that have been awarded Green Infrastructure Funds (GIF) by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). SNH is delivering this funding on behalf of Scottish Government, using money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Aberdeen City Council project is in one of Scotland’s most disadvantaged urban areas and, along with six other proposals, will benefit from a total investment of just under £20 million, including £5.8 million of ERDF awarded through the GIF.

The GIF aims to enhance the lives of those living in urban areas by improving the quality, accessibility and quantity of green infrastructure in major towns and cities, especially in areas with a deficit of greenspace for community use. As well as the development of derelict sites into natural spaces, the project will improve entrance points, paths, viewpoints and signage to enhance community access.

Mike Cantlay, Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “The impact of a robust green infrastructure on a community can be revolutionary, from improving physical and mental health, attracting business to an area, to reducing flood risk and improving biodiversity.

“The Green Infrastructure Fund provides a unique opportunity to create better places for people and wildlife on an unprecedented scale across urban Scotland. It is inspiring to see work begin on these exciting projects today in areas where this type of transformation is most needed.”

Aberdeen City Council communities, housing and infrastructure convener Councillor Yvonne Allan said: “It’s fantastic that work has started on the Middlefield Project as it will make a big difference in the lives of people who live in the area to have an attractive park on their doorstep.

“I look forward to watching the work progressing in the coming months and we are pleased to be working with our partners.”

SNH is working with Aberdeen City Council[1] to create a greenspace at Middlefield housing estate in Aberdeen that has been designed following a period of extensive community consultation. The current area of low amenity grass will be replaced with trees, wildflower meadows, grassland and flood management along with the addition of footpath and cycle paths, informal play areas and exercise trails.


 For more information, please contact Annie Diamond at Muckle Media on / 07939 153649

[1] SNH is contributing £427,000 with the remaining funding being provided by Aberdeen City Council.

Contact information

SNH Media

Notes to editors

The Green Infrastructure Fund

Green infrastructure includes the ‘green’ and ‘blue’ features of the built environment such as woodlands, street trees, play spaces, allotments, streams, wetlands, sustainable drainage and recreational routes.

The Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention (GISI) is funded through the European Regional Development Fund and has been designed to create better places and enhance lives communities by improving the quality, accessibility and quantity of green infrastructure in major towns and cities. The Green Infrastructure Fund forms a key part of the delivery of the GISI.

Communities in these areas will benefit from the improvement and creation of green infrastructure that will help to deliver successful multifunctional places, provide opportunities for better health and support sustainable economic growth.

Projects also receiving funding in 2017 include:

  1. Greater Easterhouse (Partner: Glasgow City Council) The project will deliver large-scale green infrastructure enhancement within Greater Easterhouse, giving local people links to a wide network of green space including the Seven Lochs area. It will also benefit a nationally important population of water voles. Total: £4.19m. SNH’s contribution: £1.25m.
  2. Canal & North Gateway (Partner: Glasgow City Council and Scottish Canals) The Clay Pits Local Nature Reserve (LNR) project will change a 10ha derelict site into a Local Nature Reserve with a barrier free path and boardwalk network, mountain bike trail, disabled access fishing pegs, re-designed gateway entrances, viewpoints, and a feature canal pedestrian bridge linking Maryhill and Woodside communities with the Clay Pits and linking Hamiltonhill and Possilpark with Woodside and Maryhill. The other part of the project provides the surface water drainage solution for the regeneration of key vacant and derelict sites including Sighthill, Hamiltonhill and Cowlairs through dynamically managing the water level in the canal to provide flood storage. Total: £8.17M. SNH’s contribution: £1.63M
  3. Community Greenspace, Clydebank (Partner: West Dunbartonshire Council) This project will redevelop the currently inaccessible and severely contaminated former site of the St Eunan’s Primary School in the Linnvale and Drumry areas of Clydebank. A multi-functional community green space will be created including wildflower meadows, raised bed allotments, an outdoor classroom and natural play areas for children, an outdoor gym, a sensory garden. Total: £1.55m. SNH’s contribution: £620,000  
  4. Blairbeth Urban Park (Partner: South Lanarkshire Council) Blairbeth is the site of a former golf course which went out of business in 2015. It is located on the south edge of Glasgow, next to the communities of Castlemilk and Fernhill. Currently a magnet for anti-social behaviour such as vandalism and fly-tipping, the new park will provide over 20 hectares of semi-natural, managed green space, creating a series of paths and cycle-ways. Total: £871,000. SNH’s contribution: £349,000  
  5. Halfway Community Park (Partner: Southside Housing Association, Glasgow) Southside Housing Association are transforming an underused, difficult to access and unattractive open space at Moss Heights in the south of Glasgow into a new community park. The project will improve biodiversity, provide space for active and passive recreation and improve public safety and access for all through landscaping, tree and shrub planting, construction of a community growing space, a green gym, a natural play area and removing cars from the area in front of the high-rise flats. It will also offer a range of opportunities for people to get involved with the site, from community growing and learning to cycle, to volunteer tree care and gardening apprenticeships. Total: £2.2m. SNH’s contribution: £901,000.   
  6. Foresterhill Campus, Aberdeen (Partner: NHS Grampian) The Foresterhill campus in Aberdeen is the largest hospital complex in Europe. The site has developed incrementally over many decades without a clear masterplan for its overall layout and design. As a result, it has limited green space, no clear pedestrian or cycling routes through the site and extensive areas of impermeable surfacing, with large scale parking areas that accelerate surface water runoff and contribute to significant downstream flooding in central Aberdeen. This project aims to begin to address these deficiencies by creating a new ‘destination green space’ in the western part of the site with tree planting, new paths to create a better network across the site, and water storage basins and linear water storage features to reduce run-off. Total: £1.6m. SNH’s contribution: £660,000.
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

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