NatureScot Better Places Green Recovery Fund - Round 2

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Better Places Green Recovery Fund helps communities and destinations develop visitor management plans for nature ‘hotspots’ across Scotland. Following the success of Round 1 in 2020, Round 2 is now open for applications.

Deadline for fast delivery project applications: Friday 9 April 2021 at midnight

Deadline for all other applications: Friday 14 May 2021 at midnight

In this round, funding is available for local authorities, as well as community groups and NGOs to help ensure that services and infrastructure are in place to manage visitor numbers and behaviours during the 2021 season.

Up to £2.75 million has been allocated for Round 2 of the fund, with an emphasis on supporting new activity that can be in place for May 2021. The fund will operate over a slightly longer timescale to consider projects which can be ready to support visitor management during the peak of the season.

The purpose of this second round is to fund additional visitor management activity over and above any service improvements and infrastructure already budgeted for or in place. The fund will support the following:

  • visitor management operational services - funding for new and additional seasonal ranger and visitor management posts
  • visitor infrastructure - funding for projects that can be delivered quickly and help address visitor pressures at busy hot spot locations, including temporary or permanent infrastructure

The overall outcomes sought include an improved visitor experience, improved visitor behaviours and reduced impact on communities, land managers and the natural and cultural heritage. Your project must contribute to the essential outcome and at least one additional outcome.

See the guidance document on the NatureScot website for the list of outcomes and examples of the types of activity that are eligible.

Am I eligible?

Constituted organisations, including local authorities, registered charities, trusts and community groups, are all eligible to apply. More than one application can be made by a single organisation.

For joint applications from partnerships or organisations working collaboratively, a lead applicant must be identified.

Applications must be for activity or project delivery in Scotland. Each application should relate to a specific location or area.

Applications from the following groups are not eligible:

  • Scottish Government organisations
  • academic institutes
  • private individuals and companies (only eligible if there is significant public benefit)

Read the fund guidance document on the NatureScot website for full eligibility criteria.

What does this cost?

It is free to apply.

The fund will cover up to 100% of project costs, but projects that have a matched element either in cash or in-kind are preferred.

Who is this for?

Rural locations in Scotland which suffer from excessive visitor pressures, including:

  • capacity issues
  • inadequate or no infrastructure and services
  • damage to natural and cultural heritage
  • impacts on land-management activity
  • antisocial behaviour issues

Parks and reserves within or close to urban areas will also be considered if they are popular outdoor destinations for the public and are experiencing significant visitor management issues.

How long does this take?

This is a challenge fund with two deadlines for applications:

  • Fast delivery project applications must be submitted by midnight on 9 April 2021 and be ready to start (if successful) by 3 May 2021.
  • All other applications must be submitted by midnight on 14 May 2021 and be ready to start (if successful) by 7 June 2021.

All work must be completed by 31 October 2021 at the latest, with all claims made by 30 November 2021.

Important information

If you’re applying for funding for visitor management operational services, you must provide:

  • a short recruitment statement detailing how the posts will be recruited
  • a job plan (any seasonal ranger posts should comply with the SCRA ranger competency framework and actively promote the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and supporting national campaign)

Note that the funding of staff posts is for the 2021 season only and will only extend to the end of October 2021.

If you’re applying for funding for visitor infrastructure, you must provide:

  • evidence of any planning or other regulatory requirements (this will be required prior to any offer, if application is successful)
  • a procurement statement (compliant with NatureScot guidance – available in the application form)

Projects that require a site to be closed to visitors during the peak summer months of July and August will not receive funding. All infrastructure projects should be completed as soon as possible prior to the peak visitor season.

Note that this fund will provide up to a maximum of £75,000 towards temporary or permanent visitor management related infrastructure projects. Higher value capital project funding is delivered by VisitScotland and the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

Next steps

Visit the NatureScot website to download the fund guidance document and application form.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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