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Community Engagement Fund to Reopen

urban park on former industrial site.

Scottish Natural Heritage is giving organisations another opportunity to apply for funding for projects helping communities make the most of their local greenspaces. Our Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund is to reopen for applications soon. It supports organisations who want to employ staff or contractors to work with communities to encourage them to make better use of their greenspace or to develop proposals on how it could be improved. This can be for the whole community or for particular target groups. We want people to value, use and enjoy their greenspaces, and through this to feel happier, healthier and better connected to their communities. We expect this to lead to inequalities in health and opportunity being reduced, and an increase in how people value and understand what nature does for them. Green Infrastructure can also help people develop skills and have the confidence to seek and sustain jobs.

There are a broad range of projects which might be supported, and innovation is encouraged. Possible areas include:
• Art based - artist working with a community to understand and tell their story with green infrastructure to date, and where they want it to go.
• Participation and Activity - support communities with activities and enterprises connected to their green infrastructure. • Citizen Science - a scientist working with a community to explore and document the changes in their area. Help with planning for the future.
• Volunteering and Skills - development of local skills through volunteering or skills development programmes, which involve direct contact with the local environment, or learning elsewhere and bringing that learning back to their local area.
• Nature based approach - develop an understanding and appreciation of urban nature. Support to explore and engage with local nature through surveys, nature walks, mini-beast adventures, wetland activities. Increase habitat for nature through community management. Celebrate nature through events.
• Ecosystem Approach - Support to explore the ecosystem services provided by green infrastructure. Explore how an area can benefit from its improvement.

A first funding round took place earlier this year, with the successful projects due to be announced shortly. The second round will open shortly. This is for projects which will run throughout 2018 and which:
• Are within a town or city of greater than 10,000 population;
• Will benefit a deprived community (within the 15% most deprived as measured by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation); and
• Have a total project value of between £50,000 and £120,000. The Fund will provide up to 40% of this (50% in the Highlands & Islands), with the remainder expected to come from match funding.

Anyone who thinks they may wish to apply can have an initial discussion with us about their project idea in advance of the round opening in August. Contact us through our email address and one of our Project & Funding Officers will get back to you. Full guidance and a copy of the application form will be made available through the project website (greeninfrastructurescotland.org.uk) when we open for applications. We will also be holding Open Events where further information will be provided about the Fund and how to apply. These will be in Glasgow, Edinburgh and a Webinar. Further details of venues, times etc. will be provided nearer the time.