Helensburgh and Lomond community groups can apply for their share of £7 million to encourage active lifestyles this summer.

Three Scotland-wide funds have been launched during June 2023 to help groups promote ‘active travel’ – prompting more people to walk or bike instead of using the car.

All three funds have been launched by walking charity Paths for All with the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Active Nation Fund worth £1.5 million, the ‘Ian Findlay Path Fund’ offering £1.5 million, and the SCSP Open Fund giving out £5 million.

Minister for active travel, Patrick Harvie, said: “I’m pleased to welcome the launch of three active travel funding opportunities delivered through Paths for All.

“This will help to support the growing ambitions of public, third and community-sector organisations to provide bigger and better active travel opportunities right across Scotland.

“As part of our record funding for active travel, this work directly supports our ambitions to build a more active nation – where more people can choose to walk, wheel and cycle for everyday journeys than ever before, and I look forward to seeing the success of new projects in action.”

Focusing on changing everyday travel behaviours locally or nationwide, the SCSP Active Nation Fund offers grants of up to £200,000 for public, community and third-sector organisations.

Groups can be awarded up to £100,000 via the SCSP Open Fund, which also encourages people to change their attitudes to transport.

Groups can receive up to £100,000 through the Ian Findlay Path Fund – which was set up to commemorate Path for All’s former CEO – to help them upgrade local routes and make them more accessible.

CEO of Paths for All, Kevin Lafferty, said: “These funds will increase the pace and scale of active travel delivery across the country as we collectively work together to encourage active travel for a happier, healthier and greener Scotland.

“If we all make small changes to our daily travel habits such as making walking, wheeling or cycling the natural choice for journeys to the local shop, school or pharmacy, for example, it will make a huge difference to our health and wellbeing.

“This new support will help deliver a step change in how we choose to travel in order to tackle the climate emergency and help reduce car kilometres and would only be possible with support from the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland.”

To apply for the SCSP Active Nation Fund, visit: www.pathsforall.org.uk/active-travel/smarter-choices-smarter-places-1/active-nation-fund.

Applicants for the SCSP Open Fund should visit: www.pathsforall.org.uk/active-travel/smarter-choices-smarter-places-1/open-fund.

Those interested in the Ian Findlay Path Fund can apply here: www.pathsforall.org.uk/community-paths/cmp-grants/ian-findlay-path-fund.