Aberdeenshire community groups invited to apply for £1.5m Ian Findlay Path Fund

The new Ian Findlay Path Fund, worth £1.5million, is now open for applications and groups in Aberdeenshire are being encouraged to apply.

The Ian Findlay Path Fund is launched at Cassiltoun Housing Association. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
The Ian Findlay Path Fund is launched at Cassiltoun Housing Association. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The fund, managed by Scotland’s walking charity Paths for All, 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 £1.5million 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 £150million for active travel in 2022/23 and have committed to investing at least £320million or 10% of the transport budget for active travel by 2024-25.

The fund is supported by Transport Scotland.

Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, Patrick Harvie, 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.”

Find out more about the fund at www.pathsforall.org.uk/ian-findlay-path-fund