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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Call for applications for walking, wheeling and cycling project funding

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Active travel projects to benefit from up to £100,000 with Open Fund

Scotland’s walking charity, Paths for All has increased the maximum amount of its active travel Open Fund available to public, community and third-sector organisations who can now apply for grants up to £100,000.

Supported by Transport Scotland, the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund doubled from £2.5million to £5m earlier this year as it aims to help cut Scotland’s carbon emissions and improve air quality by supporting people across Scotland to travel in more active and sustainable ways.

Projects will be able to apply for between £5,000 and now up to £100,000 – a 50% increase from previous years.

The extension aims to create new opportunities for organisations and projects to extend their ambition to adopt active and sustainable travel in order to reduce the reliance on cars.

Initiatives will be focused on encouraging more people to change their everyday travel behaviours and help provide opportunities to drive less and to walk or cycle as part of their everyday short journeys or to use public transport for longer journeys.

Graham McQueen, SCSP manager at Paths for All, said: “With the continued support of Transport Scotland, we are delighted to be able to increase the maximum amount of grant available through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund to community groups and charities across Scotland.

“This increase recognises the importance of encouraging people to drive less and to travel in a more sustainable manner. We are facing an immediate climate crisis and we need to act now.

“With these larger grants, applicants can extend their reach to more people and can be more effective in reducing the number of car journeys being made on our roads.”

A total of £13.5m has been awarded to 542 projects across Scotland after the Open Fund was first launched in 2017.

Applications for this round of funding are welcome until 31 March 2023 and will be awarded for a period of 12 months. 

Supported by Transport Scotland, Smarter Choices, Smarter Places is Paths for All’s funding programme that exists to encourage people to choose smarter ways to travel. The programme supports public, third and community-sector organisations across the country to deliver active and sustainable projects, as well as supporting every local authority in Scotland to encourage more journeys by foot, bike and public transport.

Kevin Lafferty, CEO of Paths for All, said: “Being able to announce that Paths for All’s funding programme to help Scotland choose smarter ways to travel has increased its fund ceiling from £50k to £100k for the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund is fantastic news.

“The grant fund is available to support public, third and community sector organisations in Scotland to deliver innovative behaviour change projects that promote active and sustainable travel.

“The fund is helping cut Scotland's carbon emissions and improve our air quality by encouraging people to use public transport or other sustainable options such as buses and community car clubs for longer journeys, walking and cycling for short journeys.

“This means the potential average award can now increase and we would like to thank Transport Scotland for their continued support for the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund which has left us over the moon."