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04/09/13 13:31

Central Scotland Green Network

Review delivers benefit for communities, business and nature.

Communities and businesses across Central Scotland are set to benefit from changes proposed for Europe’s largest green space project.

The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) was created by Ministers in 2009 and has since set about transforming the environment of the area for people, the economy and nature.

Following a review, the Central Scotland Forest Trust, which currently provides support to the project, will undergo a number of changes and become the ‘CSGN Trust’ and will drive forward and coordinate delivery of the CSGN initiative.

The Scottish Government will now coordinate government involvement in the initiative and support for the Trust. This will help to embed the cross-cutting project within relevant Scottish Government policies and programmes.

Under the new arrangements the new CSGN Trust will have increased capacity to:

  • Coordinate action by partners to deliver improvements on the ground
  • Communicate the benefits of the Green Network and secure the necessary resources and commitment to deliver the CSGN vision
  • Support regional and local partners to develop appropriate projects such as greening vacant and derelict land, improving path networks and habitat restoration projects

Environment & Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:

“The Central Scotland Green Network is a 40 year initiative to transform Central Scotland into a better place to live and work.

“I have seen for myself the good progress that has been made in the first four years of the project and the changes announced today aim to build on the momentum gained to drive forward further improvements.

“These new arrangements will provide greater dedicated resource for local authorities and their partners, whilst also ensuring that support from the Scottish Government is more effectively coordinated.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the initial years of the project for the transformation they have started, which will be of enormous benefit to both the environment and communities. Our aim is to capitalise on the successes they have achieved to date and for CSGN to go from strength to strength.”

Keith Geddes, Chair of the CSGN Partnership Board added:

“I welcome these proposed changes, and the additional support for the CSGN that they will secure.

“The current CSGN Partnership Board is fully supportive of all the proposals and look forward to working with the CSFT Board, Government and regional partners to ensure that the new set-up works as effectively as possible.”

Peter Russell, Chair of CSFT said:

“I am delighted that the Trust will continue to play a critical role in the future development of the CSGN initiative, allowing us to further our charitable objectives.”

Notes to editors

For further information on the CSGN see - http://www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org/

Ministers recently confirmed their intention to maintain the National Development status of the CSGN in the 3rd National Planning Framework. In the next phase of the project, priorities are likely to include improving routes for walking and cycling, bringing vacant and derelict land back into use, and revitalising areas suffering from economic disadvantage and poor health.

Under the proposals lead responsibility for the initiative within Government will transfer to Natural Resources Division within Scottish Government. Previously, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage have been responsible jointly for the CSGN and CSFT has hosted a small team responsible for coordinating the project. CSFT will be transformed into the CSGN Trust, with a number of changes to its membership and Articles of Association, and will apply all of its resources to delivering the CSGN initiative.

The Scottish Government’s second National Planning Framework, June 2009 identifies the CSGN as a national priority, which will deliver: “a step change in environmental quality, woodland cover and recreational opportunities...[and] make Central Scotland a more attractive place to live in, do business and visit; help to absorb CO²; enhance biodiversity; and promote active travel and healthier life styles.”

Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

Scottish Natural Heritage is the Government’s adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Its role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland’s nature now and in the future. For further information on SNH, please visit www.snh.gov.uk