Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund celebrates first birthday

A multi-million pound fund that aims to get people out their cars and travelling sustainably has celebrated its first birthday.

First birthday of Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund

The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund was launched in June 2018 and has so far awarded over £1.9 million worth of grants to 87 projects that increase walking and cycling opportunities or encourage people to use public transport.

Supported by Transport Scotland and managed by us, the fund is also looking forward to distributing another £2 million in 2019/20.

To celebrate the first anniversary, we joined organisations in the Forth Valley where over £340,000 was awarded in 2018/19.

They included Forth Environment Link, Active Schools Falkirk, NHS Forth Valley, Recyke-a-Bike Stirling, Braveheart, Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface,  Falkirk Delivers, Lornshill Academy and Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire councils.

Graham McQueen, senior development officer with the Open Fund said: “Since its launch, the Open Fund has awarded almost £2 million in grants to projects all over Scotland, but a high percentage have been in the Forth Valley area.

"In 2018/19, grants worth £343,184 were made to projects working in Falkirk, Clackmannanshire and Stirling. 

“We’re not only celebrating the first successful year of the fund, but also that a second round of funding has recently been announced by the Scottish Government through its £80 million active travel budget.”

The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund aims to encourage people to change their behaviours to walk or cycle as part of their everyday short journeys.

It also encourages people to use 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 aims to help cut Scotland's carbon emissions and improve air quality.

A wide variety of organisations have already been successful in attaining grants including 47 registered charities, nine colleges or universities, seven social enterprises, seven regional transport partnerships, two health boards and two local authorities.
Grants have also funded 28 new jobs created by active travel hubs across Scotland.

For information on how to apply for a Smarter Places, Smarter Places Open Fund grant, click here.