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New £950,000 fund to encourage people to walk or cycle for everyday journeys

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson says the cash will help provide greater sustainable transport options and offer healthier lifestyle choices.

It is hoped the grant will allow social housing providers to invest in walking and cycling facilities (Transport Scotland/PA)
It is hoped the grant will allow social housing providers to invest in walking and cycling facilities (Transport Scotland/PA)

A new fund to encourage more people to walk or cycle for everyday journeys has been announced.

The £950,000 cash boost, which is available to social housing providers and registered social landlords across Scotland, is aimed at supporting active travel within communities.

It will prioritise areas of high deprivation to encourage walking and cycling for more sustainable, daily journeys.

As part of the new Social Housing Fund, providers can apply for grants of up to £25,000 for a range of infrastructure proposals including cycle parking shelters, street furniture such as seating, litter bins, bollards and planters, and improvements to access points and lighting.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) is working in partnership with Cycling Scotland, Living Streets Scotland and Sustrans Scotland to provide £950,000 in funding from the Scottish Government.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “This has been designed as a high-impact fund which will provide greater sustainable transport options and offer healthier lifestyle choices within Scottish communities – with a particular focus on improvements in our most deprived areas.

“We’ve supported similar funds in the past which have improved active travel facilities within businesses, schools and universities, however, this is the first time a range of partners have come together to work directly with housing associations.

“With our experienced active travel delivery partners partnering with the SFHA, this initiative is well placed to benefit social housing providers and communities across the country – and directly contributes to our ambition to build an Active Nation, ensuring as many as possible can enjoy the benefits of walking and cycling.”

Sarah Boyack, SFHA, said: “Tenants and communities will benefit from healthier lifestyles and affordable access to work and services as a result of this new grant which will allow social housing providers to invest in walking and cycling facilities, so SFHA welcomes this new investment.

“Our partnership with Cycling Scotland will enable 40-50 projects to be supported which will see this investment benefit people right across the country.”

Kath Brough, of Cycling Scotland, said: “This new fund will improve facilities ranging from secure cycle parking to seating and will enable residents, tenants and housing staff to enjoy their outside space and get active.”

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