Healthy travel fund clocks up its first Falkirk birthday

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A national multi-million pound fund that aims to get people out their cars and walk or cycle has celebrated its first birthday in Forth Valley.

Groups in and around Falkirk to benefit from £340,000 worth of grants include Forth Environment Link, NHS Forth Valley, Braveheart, Falkirk Delivers, Active Schools Falkirk and Forth Valley College - which hosted the event.

The scheme also encourages people to use sustainable travel choices, including buses, trams, trains and car share clubs for longer journeys.

The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund launched last year has so far awarded over £1.9 million to 87 projects that increase walking and cycling opportunities or encourage people to use public transport.

Graham McQueen, senior development officer with the Fund, said: “Since its launch, our fund has supported projects all over Scotland, but a high percentage have been in the Forth Valley area.

“We are working with some amazing organisations across the Forth Valley, and between them they run an incredible variety of projects all looking to encourage and support people to choose more sustainable types of transport for their everyday journeys.

“More than any other area we see these organisations in the Forth Valley working together in partnership and this is something we want to encourage across Scotland.

“We’re looking forward on building on the success of the first year, and supporting many more projects to increase walking, cycling and sustainable travel in the year to come.”

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 second round of funding is now open, and grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are available.

For information on how to apply for a Smarter Places, Smarter Places Open Fund grant, visit https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/active-travel.