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Now Open – new £1.5 million Ian Findlay Path Fund for accessible communities

The new Ian Findlay Path Fund, worth £1.5 million, is now open for applications.

Path for All's new grant fund will enable more people to walk, wheel or cycle for their everyday journeys to improve air quality, reduce CO2 emissions and improve physical health and mental 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.

These are all measures that make paths across Scotland more attractive and enjoyable to use by people of all ages and abilities.

Rona Gibb, Senior Manager at Paths for All is encouraging community based organisations to identify their paths that need improving and make an expression of interest application. She 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 £1.5 million Ian Findlay Path Fund was first announced in March as part of the Co-operation Agreement where the Scottish Government is investing a record sum of £150 million for active travel in 2022/23 and have committed to investing at least £320 million or 10% of the transport budget for active travel by 2024-25.

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, managed by Cassiltoun Housing Association. He said:

"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. "

Cassiltoun Housing Association are an example of a charity that have benefitted from our community path grants for signage who could apply to the new Ian Findlay Path Fund to install lighting in sections of their wooded paths.

Clair Malpas, Cassiltoun Housing Association, Group Chief Executive said:

"Funding is crucial to support all our work improving community facilities. Therefore, we greatly welcome the new £1.5 million Ian Findlay Path Fund that could support our ongoing efforts to make the woodlands and surrounding areas of Castlemilk Park more attractive for residents of all ages, abilities and nationalities to feel safe and supported when walking in and around the area. Our previous funding from Paths for All involved volunteers informing where signage needed to be installed and what the signage should say, for example Miller Primary 0.2km, Jeely Piece Club 0.5km and Youth Complex 0.3km. Involving the community in developing the woodlands has been a central component of our work.

We know residents want to see improved lighting across several routes to increase safety, especially in winter and at night. This would be a major step forward in delivering a safe and accessible walking network in Castlemilk."

Watch the launch video below.

Find out more about the Ian Findlay Path Fund online. Sign up for Paths for All’s monthly Community Paths newsletter for resources, training and support on managing community path networks across Scotland.

Find out about our free training course on Managing Community Path Projects here. Pictured l-r: Graeme Anderson – Paths for All, Paddy McKenna – Cassiltoun Housing Association, Muriel Cupples – Cassiltoun Housing Association, Daniel Bulawa – Transport Scotland, Rona Gibb, James Gray – Paths for All, Patrick Harvie – Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, George Kelly – Cassiltoun Housing Association, Neil Hayton – Social Marketing Gateway, Anna Stuart MBE – Cassiltoun Housing Association, Graeme McQueen and Rachel Shankland – Paths for All.

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