Nearly £8 million of funding has been earmarked to help reduce the impacts of climate crisis in urban areas across the central belt.

Seven major projects in cities and towns will be the beneficiaries of the latest round of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)’s Green Infrastructure Fund, launched in 2016.

The fund aims to tackle socio-economic issues such as poor health and high unemployment by creating and improving greenspaces in communities as well as attempting to mitigate effects of global climate change.

The latest projects will improve habitats and biodiversity, transform unused land, tackle flood risk and create new active travel routes, community gardens and play areas in Glasgow, Bishopbriggs and Dunfermline.


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Glasgow’s Cunigar Loop woodland park, a legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, will receive £1.6m to improve a further 8 hectares of vacant and derelict land while Toryglen Park in the south of the city will have the use of £1.2m for a mixed-use park, wetland and wood as well as improving its existing nature reserve.

The city will also benefit from £2 million for a large-scale, ambitious streetscape project that will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, provide habitat for biodiversity and improve climate resilience in the city centre, in the hopes of making it easier to re-develop vacant and derelict sites between Argyle Street and the River Clyde.

Queen’s Cross Housing Association will get £1.6 million for five new public greenspaces in Hamiltonhill that include a community park, a play park, a tranquil space and a community garden.

Southside Housing Association will benefit from £537,000 for their Queensland Community Park to manage flood risk for Cardonald and Hillington and to enhance underused open space through adventure and natural play facilities, tree and shrub planting and improved access to the site.

Dunfermline’s Lyne Burn Green Network will receive £741,000 to connect greenspace in the area;to improve habitat and species networks and biodiversity and to create safe active travel routes.

Climate Ready Bishopbriggs, run by East Dunbartonshire Council, will get £295,000 to combine two existing parks to create a more functional space and to improve existing stormwater management used to reduce flood risk to homes.

SNH Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “We know that connecting people with nature makes them happier and healthier and it’s great to see this funding delivering that in our most deprived areas.

“In addition to the many social and economic benefits, improving our urban greenspace can also help us adapt to and mitigate climate change.

“This funding will help us create a nature-rich future for everyone in Scotland, part of the solution to the climate emergency facing us all.”

The EU-backed Green Infrastructure Fund is part of the Scottish Government’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme and is being delivered in two phases.

Projects that were successful in the first phase of funding are already well underway and include seven major capital infrastructure schemes and 12 community engagement projects.

In Glasgow, a project to enhance green space along the canal corridor between Firhill and Port Dundas, including the creation of a local nature reserve and an innovative water management solution based around the Forth and Clyde Canal saw an injection of £1.6m from the fund.

A population of water voles will be protected during and after completion of works to enhance green infrastructure in Easterhouse.

The project aims to give local people links to a wide network of green space including the Seven Lochs Wetland Park.

The Edinburgh Shoreline Project, driven by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, secured funding in the first phase of the fund to work with communities along its 27 kilometers of coastline, enabling communities to appreciate their local history and biodiversity and work together to help local flora and fauna survive and thrive.

In June, the project was awarded funding from SNH’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund to deliver habitat creation along the Edinburgh coast. The Wild Line shares funding with 13 other projects in Scotland and will work alongside the University of Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council, University of Glasgow and Scottish Seabird Centre to create or improve large scale habitats for pollinators, rocky shore invertebrates and seabirds until September 2020.

Man-made habitats will be installed on hard sea wall defences to create vital homes for species such as barnacles and periwinkles and 10 new wildflower meadows will be created in the north of the city.


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Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “This investment will bring significant benefits to communities across seven more urban areas, repurposing and revitalising land to create green spaces and infrastructure which will not only make communities more attractive for people to live and work in, but also attract jobs, businesses and further investment.

“Crucially, this funding will also help address the impacts of climate change by improving biodiversity, managing flood risk, and reducing pollution, while promoting new low carbon lifestyle choices and active transport options in the heart of our communities.”

The Green Infrastructure Fund is one of the Strategic Interventions included within Scotland’s current programme for the European Regional Development Fund which addresses economic and social imbalances between EU regions, with the priority of reducing economic, environmental and social problems in urban areas.

With match funding from partners the total overall investment is expected to reach £40 million.