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SCOTLAND: Finnie announces funding for sustainable development projects

May 18, 2004 12:00 AM

Over £750,000 is to be provided to twelve environmental projects over the next three years.

Environment Minister Ross Finnie today announced that projects ranging from recycling bicycles and mattresses to making public transport in rural areas more efficient are to receive funding from the Executive's Sustainable Action Grants scheme.

The scheme supports projects which promote sustainable development and environmental justice. The projects to be supported were selected from seventy nine applications which were received in March.

Mr Finnie said:

"The Scottish Executive is committed to delivering sustainable development with economic growth and an improved environment for all. These national and regional projects are playing their part in helping us achieve that aim.

"The successful projects address our sustainable development priorities of energy, resource use and travel and our commitment to environmental justice for all our neighbourhoods.

"People must be given the support and confidence to make sustainable choices. That is why we will be funding a range of initiatives that build on the existing expertise of organisations such as BTCV (The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) Scotland [TD1]in placing communities themselves at the heart of local environmental regeneration.

"These innovative projects that we are supporting will help us to embed sustainable development across Scottish life, in business, public authorities and peoples' lives."

Details of the successful projects and the funding they will receive are as follows:

Although the mattresses will initially at least come from Civic Amenities sites and the recycling will be of mattress parts, this is the first such project in Scotland. This social enterprise project aims to recycle 6,900 beds in the first year and will provide employment to five disabled or disadvantaged people.

Examples of programme elements are drink can recycling (making cameras), earth walks (for a sensory encounter with the natural world), food and diet (examining the potato from the ground to the plate, learning about conservation and land management, transfer of learning to local action and local community follow-up visits. YMCA aims to have a programme relevant in effecting change in young people's personal environments.

Further projects will be considered for funding in 2005-06 and 2006-07.

It was announced in January that £300,000 a year would be made available to extend the sustainable action grant scheme, under which these projects are being supported, until 2007. The scheme is funded from the Environment and Rural Affairs Department's Sustainable Action Fund budget.

The Sustainable Action Fund was set up in 1996 to fund sustainable development projects throughout Scotland. Projects which have already benefited range from Scotland-wide youth programmes to community level recycling initiatives.