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Community groups in the Highlands encouraged to apply to the Ian Findlay Path Fund, worth £1.5 million

By Imogen James

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The Ian Findlay Path Fund launch. Picture: Alan Harvey
The Ian Findlay Path Fund launch. Picture: Alan Harvey

COMMUNITY groups in the Highlands are being encouraged to apply for a share of £1.5m as part of the Ian Findlay Path Fund.

The new fund, managed by Paths for All, aims to enable more people to walk, wheel or cycle for their everyday journeys.

It hopes that this will improve air quality, co2 emissions and physical health and wellbeing.

The Ian Findlay Path Fund will support path management projects that improve the accessibility and resilience of existing paths between homes, community services, active travel routes and public transport facilities or connections.

Community groups, third sector organisations and charities wanting to improve the accessibility of their local path networks are eligible to apply for between £10,000 to £100,000.

Activities supported could include the removal of barriers, steps, ramps or vegetation, linking community destinations by filling in path connectivity gaps, tackling flooded sections of paths to increase climate change resilience, adding lighting to make paths safer, especially at night or in winter; improving sight lines and upgrading desire lines.

Rona Gibb, senior manager at Paths for All, said: "“I would encourage community groups, development trusts and charities to think about the paths in their communities that people use for everyday short journeys that need improving to apply to our new Ian Findlay Path Fund.”

“Communities know the desire lines, muddy tracks, pot holed steps or chicanes that are stopping people from easily walking, wheeling or cycling for their short journeys.

“If you know of paths that need to be made accessible for people using wheelchairs, walking aids or adaptive cycles then get in touch.

“Scotland needs more attractive paths to make short journeys easy and enjoyable. We want local path networks to be part of the way people travel.”

The fund is supported by Transport Scotland with minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights, Patrick Harvie, officially opening the fund at Castlemilk Park.

He added: “I’m pleased to join Paths for All to launch the Ian Findlay Path Fund.

"The investments made by this fund will mean better infrastructure for walking, making it easier for more people to walk more often for those everyday journeys, and supporting our ambition to build an Active Nation.

"The Fund is a fitting tribute to Ian’s work as a lifelong champion for walking and continues his mission during his time as chief officer at Paths for All.”

“It’s great to see what has been achieved here at Castlemilk Community Woodlands in Glasgow, which is well managed by Cassiltoun Housing Association and to get a sense of similar path improvements which could be made through this programme.

"With Scottish Government funding now available through the Ian Findlay Path Fund, I would encourage community groups, development trusts, charities and housing associations, looking to improve their existing local paths, to get in touch with the team at Paths for All.”

Click here to find out more about the fund.

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