Social housing providers to receive share of £1.8m of funding

Social housing providers are part of the 149 organisations who will receive a share of £1.8 million in funding from the Scottish Government to improve facilities for walking and cycling.

Social housing providers to receive share of £1.8m of funding

A total of 33 housing providers across Scotland have been funded £821,991 as part of the funding. Some of these associations include River Clyde Homes in Inverclyde, Sanctuary Housing in Aberdeenshire, Cearns in Stornoway, Hjaltland in Lerwick and Glasgow Housing Association. The total number of sites across the housing associations is 155. The funding is expected to benefit 62,119 residents and 628 staff. The total value, including match funding and in-kind contributions, is £1,146,013.

Elderpark Housing Association will receive £25,000 to install cycle parking for the 2,700 residents living across its properties, where currently there is no cycle parking.

Jim Fraser, estate management inspector at Elderpark Housing Association, said: “Lack of storage has been a key issue for residents, especially those in older tenement buildings, so installing bike parking will remove a significant barrier to the uptake in bike ownership and cycling as a healthy activity. Govan is well established as an area of high deprivation and residents can often be found to have low household income and higher levels of household debt.

“This can impact greatly on people’s ability to access public transport beyond a limited geographical area and frequency due to a lack of sufficient finance. The grant award from Cycling Scotland’s Social Housing Fund provides us with a fantastic opportunity to give our residents safe, secure onsite storage, further promoting cycling as an activity that is good for health and emotional wellbeing, and encouraging residents to travel further afield in a relatively cheap and environmentally friendly way.”

Around 90,000 people within Scotland are expected to benefit from funding allocated to the Scottish Government’s active travel budget and Cycling Scotland’s Cycling friendly programme and the Social Housing Fund.

These three funding streams aim to support communities and workplaces through improved facilities and to encourage more people to choose walking and cycling as their preferred mode of sustainable transport for everyday journeys.

Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “Alongside the development of quality infrastructure, high-impact behavioural change initiatives such as Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly programme and Social Housing Fund are critical to encouraging greater participation in sustainable walking and cycling in our communities. Walking and cycling is key to improving our air quality, protecting our climate and improving our health. Encouraging active travel options for an estimated 90,000 people across Scotland is an incredible achievement and I look forward to seeing improved facilities in workplaces and communities.”

He added: “The 2017 Programme for Government committed us to build an Active Nation, where more people can benefit from opportunities to walk and cycle than ever before. We’re delivering on that commitment and the work of a range of partners, including Cycling Scotland, is contributing directly towards that shared objective.”

Kath Brough, head of behaviour change at Cycling Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to announce funding to 149 organisations across Scotland to encourage more people to cycle. Cycling Scotland works closely with partners to help employers, community groups and housing associations take advantage of the benefits of cycling and this round of funding will provide an opportunity for over 90,000 people across Scotland to access improved cycling facilities.”

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