ENVIRONMENT: National Park Authority launches £250k Green Recovery Fund

June 2, 2021

Sweeney’s Cruises boat in Loch LOmond in days before the fire at Cameron House Hotel, which is due to open again on August 1.

By Lucy Ashton

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority is launching a £250,000 Green Recovery Fund to help local communities, land managers, businesses and other partners to recover from the pandemic in a sustainable way.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority is launching a £250,000 Green Recovery Fund to help local communities, land managers, businesses and other partners to recover from the pandemic in a sustainable way.

The Green Recovery Fund is open to a range of projects, including those that help address the global climate emergency and nature crisis or tackle pressures from high volumes of visitors such as traffic and littering.

Supporting resilience across the National Park and enabling a sustainable recovery from the pandemic are key aims and projects that support economic activity, creating sustainable jobs and skills are welcome.

Building on the success of the established annual National Park Grant Scheme, the Green Recovery Fund brings the existing grant schemes operated by the National Park Authority together into one fund, encompassing the main grant scheme, community capacity support grant, tree planting and woodland creation planning grants.

An enhanced pot of £250,000 is available this year and the focus is on delivering a green recovery for the National Park.

Stuart Mearns, Director of Place at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “Recovering from the pandemic and delivering on our ambitious climate change and nature targets are priorities for the National Park Authority but we cannot do that alone.

“A partnership approach will be essential and the Green Recovery Fund enables us to support the groups who can help deliver this ambition. Applications that help address the global climate emergency and the nature crisis are particularly welcome and we want to empower community organisations to deliver positive outcomes for people and place.

“We have increased the fund significantly and while we appreciate that it is a challenging time to deliver projects, this is one way we can extend support in the drive for collective positive action on tackling climate and nature.

“We are investing now, laying the groundwork and building capacity for the future.”

Picturesque – the magnificent scenery that awaits visitors to Loch Lomond. Pictures by Bill Heaney

The Scottish Government has committed to reaching net zero by 2045 and the National Park Authority recently set out its own ambitious Mission Zero strategy, committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Individuals, businesses, public bodies and constituted voluntary/community groups or charities are all eligible to apply for the Green Recovery Fund and do not need to be based within the National Park, provided that the project is delivered within the National Park.

Projects supported in 2020 included funding for a new polytunnel at Lochgoil Primary School to help pupils learn about sustainability. The polytunnel will provide year-round opportunities for growing fruit, vegetables, trees and wildflowers for the school and wider community.

Headteacher Karen Wheatley said: “In this first year of the polytunnel project, the school plans to use the polytunnel as an outdoor space to teach children about vegetable and fruit growing in all seasons. This will form part of an interdisciplinary project that links learning about food, sustainability, and science.

“Members of the local community have also expressed interest in helping with food growing when the school is closed, giving the polytunnel a real community focus.”

A total of £250,000 is available this year for capital projects, revenue projects and revenue expenditure. Applications will be accepted for a minimum of £1000 and an indicative maximum of £30,000, although applications for larger sums may be considered.

The Green Recovery Fund is now open for applications. To find out more, including details of project criteria and who is eligible to apply see https://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/GreenRecoveryFund/

The deadline for applications is 9th July 2021.

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