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26 September, 2018

£8m funding brings nature to Scotland’s cities

From weirs and wetlands, to urban nature reserves, to natural play areas and parks, the search is on for 10 projects that help nature bloom in the most disadvantaged areas of Scotland’s towns and cities.

The call comes as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) today announces a further £8m funding, in the latest phase of its ambitious Green Infrastructure Fund.

The Fund - SNH’s largest to date for improving the urban environment in Scotland’s towns and cities – is being delivered in two phases. The first is due to complete in 2019, and will deliver 7 major capital infrastructure projects and 12 community engagement projects, including:

  • Transformation of a derelict golf course in South Lanarkshire into a new urban park
  • Outdoor recreational space in the Middlefield community in Aberdeen, with weirs and wetlands helping reduce the town’s flood risk
  • Creation of a Local Nature Reserve and new water management scheme around the Forth & Clyde Canal in Glasgow, opening up surrounding vacant and derelict sites for regeneration.

SNH announced today it is inviting bids for a share in a further £8m funding from up to 10 major projects. It is expected the successful projects  will support some of Scotland’s more deprived urban communities to make best use of their local environment, help tackle the effects of  climate change, attract business and boost job opportunities.

The overall value of the Green Infrastructure Fund’s programme of work over both phases is in the region of £40m.  The Green Infrastructure Fund is part of the Scottish Government’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme.

Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment & Innovation, welcomed the new funding: “£8million funding for projects to make our urban spaces greener is great news for people across towns and cities in Scotland. It represents the next phase of the Green Infrastructure Fund, building on fantastic work already achieved in Phase 1 like creating a local nature reserve on the Forth & Clyde Canal in north Glasgow. That all started off thanks to the desire of Friends of Possilpark Greenspace to improve their local green space, and this money will back projects with a similar goal in mind.

“The Green Infrastructure fund supports the Scottish Government’s National Outcome on the environment, and we are committed to ensuring all communities can engage with and benefit from nature and green space. Thanks to this money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), we can support this aim and help to make a real difference to how people in some of Scotland’s more deprived urban communities engage with their local environment.”

Mike Cantlay, Chair of SNH said: “We are hugely excited to announce this latest phase in our Green Infrastructure Fund. We want to hear from innovative projects that want to help make beautiful green places to live, work and visit, and are also great for business.

“We know that living and working in and around nature brings huge benefits for physical and mental health.  But in some areas, there is little or no opportunity to access the simple things this brings us– grass, trees, bees and insects.

“It is crucial that people living in our towns and cities have the opportunity to love, use and value their nature, and feel happier, healthier and have a greater ownership of their own communities.  We want to do all we can to help see reductions in health inequalities, and at the same time increase the value and understanding of  what nature can do for all of us.”

The funding round opens today, 26 September 2018, and closes 28 January 2019.  Decisions on the successful projects will be announced in spring 2019.

Further details about the Fund can be found on its website – - or by emailing


SNH Media

Notes to Editors

Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For more information, see or 

The Scottish Government has appointed SNH to be the ‘Lead Partner’ responsible for delivering the Green Infrastructure Fund, which is part of their current European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme.  Funding comes from the EU. Guarantees given by the UK and Scottish Governments mean that the programme is expected to continue to completion in 2023, regardless of the final Brexit arrangements.

The main purpose of the Fund is to support around 15 major capital infrastructure projects, which make physical improvements to the environment of local communities by creating or enhancing their green space.  7 such projects have been funded to date, 3 in Glasgow, 2 in Aberdeen, 1 in Clydebank and 1 in South Lanarkshire.

The Fund also has a community engagement element, aimed at helping communities to make better use of their local green space, and engaging more sectors of the community in using and caring for it.  12 of these smaller community engagement projects have been funded.

This latest funding round is looking to support a further 8-10 major capital infrastructure projects.  To be eligible, projects must:

  • Be located in a town or city with a population of more than 10,000.
  • Benefit one of the 20% lowest areas in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. 
  • be seeking a minimum grant of £250k (which means projects must be greater than £650k in total);
  • For ERDF, Scotland is split into two areas:  Lowland & Upland Scotland (LUPS) and the Highlands & Islands (H&I).  The maximum grant LUPS is 40% and for H&I is 70%.  Project partners must be able to find the balance from their own funds or other match funding sources.
  • Have a planned completion date of no later than 30 June 2022.  This allows a period for final claims to be submitted before the ERDF programme closes in 2023.


The capital projects funded to date as part of phase 1 are:

  • The transformation of a derelict golf course in South Lanarkshire into a new urban park
  • The creation of new community greenspace on the currently inaccessible and contaminated site of a former primary school in Clydebank
  • Works to ‘green’ parts of the Foresterhill Hospital campus in Aberdeen to provide a quiet outdoor space for patients, staff and the surrounding community
  • A new community park next to the Moss Heights flats in the Southside of Glasgow, with traffic safety measures making the area safer for children to play in
  • Creation of a high quality, outdoor recreational space in the Middlefield community in Aberdeen, with deculverting of a burn and creation of weirs and wetlands helping to reduce the flood risk in the town
  • Transforming vacant and derelict sites in Greater Easterhouse into connected and accessible green spaces with ponds, channels and deculverted burns reducing flood risk and with footpath and cycleway links to the 7 Lochs area
  • Enhancing greenspace along the canal corridor between Firhill and Port Dundas in Glasgow, including creation of a Local Nature Reserve and an innovative water management solution based around the Forth & Clyde Canal that will open up surrounding vacant and derelict sites for regeneration. 

Contact information

Cat Synnot

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. So 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




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