A new cycle park, walking projects for older people and the purchase of police quad bikes to help safeguard a world heritage site are among six North Lanarkshire projects to have received match funding totalling £85,000 from Scotland Loves Local.
The recipient projects also include a youth sports programme, active travel hub and creation of a wildflower meadow.
Community groups in North Lanarkshire were successful in the recent round of awards from the match funding scheme, which aims to help revitalise areas impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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A grant of £17,500 is going to Living Streets for their work with three Out and About groups in Airdrie and Cumbernauld to address barriers to walking by helping older people and those with limited mobility to go out on foot in their neighbourhoods, ensuring they stay active and connected.
The same sum will be used to provide lighting for a planned velo facility at Strathclyde country park, which is currently being developed by council officials alongside local cycle clubs and will form part of the new park gateway at Bellshill.
A grant of £15,000 has also been awarded to develop North Lanarkshire’s first active travel hub, a social enterprise which will be set up in an empty shop unit on Merry Street in Motherwell and include e-bike charging facilities, cycle hire and a place for cyclists and pedestrians to meet.
Meanwhile, the popular Saturday Sportscene project at Airdrie leisure centre, attended by more than 100 young people each week, has been awarded £15,000 to provide its huge range of free activities including football, dance, badminton, basketball and tennis.
Police Scotland will use £10,000 of support from the fund to buy two quad bikes, to be used for patrolling Croy Hill and the Antonine Wall route, north of Kilsyth to help residents and visitors enjoy the space.
Funders say that the Unesco world heritage site “has been subject to community concern about the illegal use of off-road bikes which damages the terrain, risks public safety and discourages many from using this outstanding place”, and that “officers patrolling on bikes will provide a visual deterrent”.
Cloudberry Communities received the same amount for environmental improvements in Chryston, Muirhead and Moodiesburn, including creating a wildflower meadow, planting trees, plus litter picks and path improvements – all with the aim of increasing biodiversity and tackling carbon emissions.
North Lanarkshire enterprise convener Allan Graham said: “I’m pleased to see these projects receiving support to help communities recover and move forward.
“Each will bring benefits to the area, supporting residents of all ages, improving the environment and opening up new opportunities for activity and wellbeing.”
Community wealth minister Tom Arthur said: “I hope these grants will help spur on many of the projects which are vital to unlocking the innovation and action which will make our towns and neighbourhoods stronger.
“The Scottish Government is supporting our communities to deliver renewed local prosperity, and this funding reinforces our determination to support all our communities as they recover.”
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