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07 August, 2019

£8 million nature boost for urban communities

£8 million nature boost for urban communities: Painted Lady butterfly in Leith © Mike Shepherd

Almost £8 million of funding has been announced to help people and nature thrive in some of the most deprived parts of Scotland.

The latest round of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)’s ambitious Green Infrastructure Fund will support seven major projects in cities and towns across the central belt.

The fund aims to tackle socio-economic issues such as poor health and high unemployment as well as mitigate the impacts of climate change through creating and improving greenspaces in urban communities.

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

The 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.

When match funding is included, the overall programme is expected to reach £40m.

Announcing the funding, 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.”

SNH Chief Executive Francesca Osowska marked the announcement with a visit to the Edinburgh Shoreline project, one of the successful community engagement projects from the first phase, to see the transformation this funding is already bringing about.

She 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.”


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Notes to editors

The successful phase 2 projects are:

Lyne Burn Green Network (Fife Council) - £741,000 to connect greenspace in east Dunfermline, including improved habitat and species networks and biodiversity, the creation of safe active travel routes and better integration of greenspace with the surrounding community.

Cuningar Loop extension (Clyde Gateway) - £1.6 million to extend the woodland park legacy project from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, improving a further 7.67 hectares of vacant and derelict land while protecting and restoring the biodiversity, ecology and sustainability of the site.        

GUARD Argyle Street (Glasgow City Council) - £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, making it easier to re-develop the vacant and derelict sites between Argyle Street and the Clyde.

Hamiltonhill (Queen’s Cross Housing Association) - £1.6 million for five new public greenspaces: a community park, play park, link space, tranquil space and community garden.

Queensland Community Park (Southside Housing Association) - £537,000 to manage flood risk for the wider Cardonald and Hillington catchment and enhance underused open space through adventure/natural play facilities, tree and shrub planting and improved access to the site.           

Toryglen Park (Clyde Gateway) - £1.2 million for a mixed use park, wetland, improved nature reserve, woodland and sustainable transport routes in and around North Toryglen and the south side of Glasgow.            

Climate Ready Bishopbriggs (East Dunbartonshire Council) - £295,000 to combine two existing parks, creating a more attractive and functional space and improving stormwater management reducing flood risk to homes.

The Green Infrastructure Fund is one of the ‘Strategic Interventions’ included within Scotland’s current programme for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020 which addresses economic and social imbalances between EU regions.   A key priority for ERDF is to reduce economic, environmental and social problems in urban areas.

Edinburgh Shoreline (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh) is an ongoing project to connect people with Nature in Edinburgh. This project is part of Edinburgh Living Landscapes programme.

Find out more about the Edinburgh Shoreline and other ongoing projects on the Green Infrastructure Fund website at

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. We work to ensure that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

'S e Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Tha sinn ag obair airson ar n-àrainneachd nàdarra ann an Alba a thoirt am feabhas agus a h-uile duine a bhrosnachadh gus barrachd cùraim a ghabhail dhi. Gus am bi an nàdar air fad ann an Alba – ar prìomh àrainnean is chruthan-tìre, ar n-àiteachan uaine gu lèir is ar gnèithean dùthchasach - air an gleidheadh, air an leasachadh 's a' toirt bhuannachdan dhuinn. 'S e an dleastanas a th' oirnn uile co-chothrom ann an stiùireadh faiceallach ar saoghail nàdarra a ruighinn airson bith-iomadachd a ghleidheadh 's a leasachadh. Airson an tuilleadh fios, tadhail air an làraich-lìn againn aig no lean air Twitter sinn aig


Painted Lady butterfly in Leith © Mike Shepherd

Painted Lady butterfly in Leith © Mike Shepherd

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SNH Chief Executive Francesca Osowska visited the Edinburgh Shoreline project with Charlotte Johnson, Shoreline Project Manager at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and Ian Mackenzie, Living Landscape Programme Manager at the Scottish Wildlife Trust

SNH Chief Executive Francesca Osowska visited the Edinburgh Shoreline project with Charlotte Johnson, Shoreline Project Manager at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and Ian Mackenzie, Living Landscape Programme Manager at the Scottish Wildlife Trust

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