The Open Fund provides match funding grants between £5000 and £50,000 to public, third and community sector organisations that seek to transform people’s everyday travel behaviour to more sustainable modes of transport.

The scheme opened in June 2018 and so far 11 winners having been awarded a total of £210,000 across rural, urban and island locations. The Open Fund is delivered in partnership with Paths for All, who continue to receive innovative applications which will encourage people to adopt greener and healthier travel options.

The winners include Gaydio, Glasgow Caledonian University and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Countryside Trust.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “I’m proud that the funding from this government has supported a variety of organisations across Scotland.

“It responds to requests from third sector and community organisations, alongside a wide range of public agencies, who want to contribute in making Scotland’s transport cleaner, healthier and more sustainable.

“Even in its first few months the fund is already creating new opportunities for people to walk and cycle for everyday short journeys and to choose sustainable options for longer journeys.

“We have doubled the active travel budget so that we can support fantastic opportunities such as the Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund. By providing financial support and empowering  local organisations, we can encourage an Active Nation, and ensure that more people can enjoy the benefits of active and sustainable travel than ever before.”

Ian Findlay, Paths for All chief officer, said: “We are delighted that such a wide range of organisations across Scotland are taking advantage of the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund.

“It’s been heartening to see such creative ideas coming forward and the appetite groups and organisations have when it comes to encouraging walking, cycling and sustainable travel.

“Creating opportunities for more people to walk and cycle for everyday short journeys and choosing sustainable options for longer journeys will not only improve the health of the nation, but it will help to create safer communities and reduce environmental impacts.

“Increased active travel helps to create robust local communities where people feel more connected to the places they live. We’re looking forward to continuing to work alongside the successful organisations of this new behaviour-change fund, supporting them to create a happier, healthier Scotland.”

West of Scotland and national winners

Gaydio (Glasgow) – £10,000. Travel Smart in Glasgow: Radio broadcast and mini-activities campaign targeted at LGBT people to encourage uptake of walking, cycling (including e-bikes) and public transport for everyday journeys.  Incentivised through a travel miles bank, and encouraging listeners to build up travel miles through active and sustainable modes.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Countryside Trust (The Trossachs) – £30,000. Trossachs Rural eBike Demo (TRED): Phase one of a bike share demonstration within the National Park to encourage the use of e-bikes for active travel in rural areas and reduce transport poverty.  Employment of a project officer to raise awareness, collate baseline information and change attitudes around the use of e-bikes for everyday journeys.

Deaf Scotland (National) – £20,000. Deaf Safe: Increase the accessible information (including British Sign Language) made available to support deaf people to enjoy their rights to cycle in safety in Scotland.  Working in partnership with Cycling Scotland, information will be provided online via film clips highlighting the risks of cycling and how to mitigate these so deaf people can cycle in confidence as part of everyday journeys.

Glasgow Caledonian University (Glasgow) – £7,000. GCU Smart Travel – Supporting Sustainable Travel Choices: Encouraging staff and students to take up sustainable travel for their daily commute.  Frequent bike maintenance sessions and sustainable travel consultations with the University’s student Smart Travel Advisors will help staff and students review their travel plans to travel more sustainably for their everyday journeys.