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Ayrshire group on path to create sustainable future

Funding helps Radio City Association further renewable energy projects with new job role

A GROUP based in Garnock Valley has received major funding to further its renewable energy projects – including the creation of a new job for a young local.

Radio City Association (RCA) – which covers Beith, Dalry, and Kilbirnie in Garnock Valley – received £28,356 through Paths for All‘s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) COP26 Legacy Fund.

The grant is part of a wider fund designed to change every day travel behaviours to encourage more walking, wheeling, cycling and sustainable transport.

Scott Wilson, Community Development Manager at Radio City Association said: “The funding from SCSP will help expand our ongoing work to give local people more opportunities to make journeys that benefit both their own health and the health of the planet.

“Throughout all aspects of our work we’re looking to engage with users, raise awareness about the climate emergency, as well as increase active travel use.

“The 20-minute neighbourhood concept will bring many benefits to the local area with people becoming active, improving their mental and physical health; traffic is reduced, and air quality improved; local shops and businesses thrive; and people see more of their neighbours, strengthening community bonds.

“It all comes back down to active travel and trying to encourage people to rethink their modes of transport in becoming healthier and greener, so we’re hoping the facilities and options we are inputting into Garnock Valley will help in doing this.

“We’re all locals so it’s great to see this innovative work being done and to think the community will begin to reap the revenue generated from community owned renewable energy projects is rewarding.”

The funding has enabled RCA to create a bespoke role which will see Dalry local, Logan Burns, go through an SVQ in Business & Administration along with a variety of skills courses via a modern apprenticeship.

Logan Burns, new hire at Radio City Association, said: “It’s a privilege to secure a role aligned to my own passion for promoting sustainability and making a positive impact on the climate emergency.

“My main responsibility is working with disadvantaged groups in the area to promote sustainable travel, while developing a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) app and organising the hiring of ebikes and electric cars”.

The SCSP funding will also play a vital role in developing a mobility hub concept – a space offering accessible modes of active travel within a 20-minute neighbourhood – a connected system where people can meet their essential needs within a short walk or cycle.

This forms the basis of wider installations including an outdoor gym with Strength and Balance panels installed by Paths for All, the launch of a mobility app and running electronic vehicles which will be key to addressing sustainable transport behaviour change and wider environmental issues in the local area.

The app named Ready Steady Go! is a new initiative which has seen QR codes placed on benches around the valley that will link to mental health resources as well as area awareness.

The project is part of the wider Electric Valley ambition developing renewable energy assets that will be in community ownership used to reinvest into improving local transport and the mobility hub which is completing a Community Asset Transfer.

Graham McQueen, Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Manager at Paths for All said: “Radio City Association is making a massive difference in Garnock Valley and its contribution will be important for years to come.

“This work is a blueprint for how groups can work collaboratively with members of the community and empower them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to sustain long term behaviour changes.”

RCA was one of six projects in Scotland to benefit from SCSP’s COP26 Legacy Fund allowing the group to improve the lives of people living in Garnock Valley.

The funding was part of the COP26 Legacy Fund – a one-off fund set up during November’s climate summit in Glasgow.

Supported by Transport Scotland, SCSP is Paths for All’s behaviour change programme encouraging people to travel actively and sustainably by walking, wheeling, cycling and using public transport.
The programme supports public, third and community-sector organisations across the country to deliver active and sustainable projects.

It also supports every local authority in Scotland to encourage more journeys by foot, bike and public transport.

Paths for All’s focus is clear: it wants to get Scotland walking: everyone, every day, everywhere, and it works with the Scottish Government and 30 partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other ‘active travel’ initiatives.

Funding of up to £50,000 is now available through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund. If you have an idea for a project that will encourage people to travel in a more sustainable way, please get in touch with the team at Paths for All

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