Now in its second year, our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund is being supported by the Scottish Government through its £80 million active travel budget.
The fund aims to encourage people to change their behaviours to walk or cycle as part of their everyday short trips. It also encourages the use of sustainable travel choices, including buses, trams, trains and car share clubs for longer journeys.
The Open Fund is available to public, third and community sector organisations and grants of between £5000 and £50,000 are available.
During its first year, the Open Fund supported 87 projects with almost £2 million worth of grants.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said:
The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund helps fund innovative ideas to encourage walking, cycling and sustainable travel. This is a fantastic opportunity to implement programmes aimed at cutting carbon emissions, improving air quality and making healthier, safer active travel a more viable option for getting around.
I’m proud that the Scottish Government has provided support to 87 projects across Scotland in the first year. Supported through Paths for All, the Open Fund provides a real opportunity to realise innovation in sustainable travel and supports smaller community organisations who are keen to contribute to the climate and active travel and health agendas.
By maintaining the active travel budget, which was doubled to a record level last year, we can continue to support and empower local organisations to develop the sustainable transport and active travel projects that they wish to see.
Launched in June 2018, the Open Fund has supported a wide variety of organisations including 47 registered charities, nine colleges and universities, seven social enterprises, seven regional transport partnerships, two health boards and two local authorities.
It also funded 28 jobs created by active travel hubs across Scotland.
Ian Findlay, our Chief Officer said:
One of the best things about the Open Fund is how flexible it is, and this was reflected in the wide range of applicants and projects in the first year.
These came from community groups, third and public sector organisations or a combination of all three working together. We were also heartened to see such creativity behind applications which all aimed to change people’s everyday travel behaviour.
Creating opportunities for more people to walk and cycle for everyday short trips and choosing sustainable options for longer journeys is not only beneficial to health and wellbeing, it also helps reduce environmental impacts and inequalities and creates safer, robust communities where people feel more connected to where they live.
With the launch of the Open Fund 2019/20 and £2million of grants available once more, there’s so much potential to support many more projects which will help create a happier, healthier Scotland.
For more information on how the Scottish Government is working to build an Active Nation, visit www.transport.gov.scot/activenation.
Full details of the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund, including information on previous successful projects, click here.