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Scottish Trail Fund – Now open for Grant Applications!

Thanks to the kind donations we have been receiving from the Scottish mountain bike community, we are now able to open the Scottish Trail Fund for applications to help support trails associations, local groups, and communities who are keen to improve their trail networks.

Trail Project

As the Scottish Trail Fund is currently building its resources, it is likely that the grants will not be for large scale-capital projects (such as mountain bike trail centres and pump tracks). We expect to support groups to be able to develop their trails by helping to get landowner approval, insurance, DIRTT (Developing Inter-European Resources for Trail Building Training) training courses, tools, or materials.

We will also consider funding studies which will result in groups being able to do work and develop new or more trails, for example, an ecology study that will allow a group to further develop their trail network in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Applications are welcomed from constituted groups up to £2,000. We will also consider applications from informal groups which will be capped at £750.

Successful applicants will be required to fill out a simple monitoring form by four weeks after the completion of the project, or at the latest six months after receiving the grant. We may also carry out a site visit, either before the grant has been made and/or after the project is complete.

We are keen to encourage growth and successful ideas, so if your project or group develops, and you wish to apply to the Fund again, you will not be restricted to a single bid. However, any new applications will need to differ from previous applications. For example, it is very unlikely the fund will pay for insurance on an annual basis.

The grants will be administered and supported by the staff of Scottish Cycling and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland who will make recommendations to the trustees of the Scottish Cycling Charitable Foundation (OSCR NO. SC051130) for approval.

Deadline for submitting applications is noon Monday 29th January 2024.All applications will be assessed in February 2023.

We hope to announce all the successful applicants at the start of March as we hope this will help groups get organised to run sessions over Spring, Summer and Autumn 2024.

Dig Day for the Gathering Promo
  • We will accept applications from already constituted groups and they should supply their governing document.
  • If the application is from an informal group, then the application must be accompanied by the signatures and contact details of people from 4 different, unrelated members of the mountain bike community who are willing to support the project.
  • Projects must be able to show that they will provide opportunities for residents to get more involved in or improve their local community.
  • Local Authorities are eligible to apply but must evidence (by email) how they are engaging with their local mountain bike community.
  • All projects must be voluntary. Salaries of staff members will not be paid.
  • The organisations themselves are responsible for all necessary policies and procedures, including Health & Safety, being in place to complete the project. Where appropriate, documentary evidence must be submitted to show relevant insurance has been taken out and landowner approval is in place.
  • The group must be based in Scotland and the project must take place on Scottish trails.

We cannot fund:

  • Assistance towards the on-going running costs of an organisation (although it will fund start-up costs)
  • Projects or organisations that exclude beneficiaries on the grounds of any of the nine protected characteristics or that do not adhere to Scottish Cycling’s equal opportunities policy.
  • Party political or religious activities (although we welcome applications from religious groups organising community projects).

Kathy Gilchrist, Trustee of the SCF, said:

We are delighted to now open the fund for applications from trails associations, local groups and communities across Scotland. This is precisely why we set up a charitable foundation to be able to provide different sources of income leading to improvements for cyclists across Scotland. We are excited about seeing the different applications coming in for the fund and thank all the groups for their work and passion in improving trails across the country.

Graeme McLean, Head of DMBinS, said:

We know the impact that trails associations and groups are making to the trails across Scotland. We believe that the Scottish Trail Fund can play a large part in helping groups set up, gain landowner approval, and help build the practical resources that will help build and maintain a trail network across Scotland.

If you can, please consider donating to the fund so we can help build this fund now and into the future.

Fill out the small grant application form. It will need to clearly outline:

  • How you would like to use the grant
  • What is the impact of the grant (eg how the trails and riders will benefit from the project)
  • How the grant would be spent (the budget) and any match funding your organisation will be supplying.
  • If you wish to supply further information, please email with details.
  • The grant will be issued on an annual basis with grants being decided at the end of January, ready to go to groups in February/March to work on the trails over the Spring, Summer and Autumn.
  • If successful, you will be contacted by a DMBinS staff member to arrange for the transfer of the funds.
  • After the completion of the project, you will need to fill out the monitoring form, which should also be accompanied by evidence of the delivery of the project. You will not need to send receipts, but they should be kept in case we require further evidence of expenditure.
  • We may also possibly contact you to arrange a visit to discuss the project, either to look for evidence of delivery, or as part of communicating the impact of the Scottish Trail Fund.
  • We would also ask you to promote the Scottish Trail Fund to members of your community and ask for them to consider donating to help support Scottish mountain biking.

What is the Scottish Cycling Foundation (SCF)?

  • The SCF is the official charity of Scottish Cycling
  • The SCF supports the future of cycle sport in Scotland
  • The SCF drives positive change for cycling in Scotland, be that by enhancing key projects or removing barriers to participation.
  • The SCF delivers, in collaboration with Scottish Cycling, impactful projects and benefits through its Scottish MTB Health Fund, Scottish Trail Fund and Braveheart Performance Fund.
  • It seeks and secures funding from a range of sources
  • The charity has, and continues, to develop and deliver a programme of fundraising events and activities to deliver impactful programmes and raise awareness of its positive impact

What is the Scottish Trail Fund?

Scottish Trail Fund seeks to:

  • Protect and enhance our natural environment
  • Develop and maintain an accessible & varied trail network

To do this we:

  • Fund volunteer trail building courses – creating leaders to run trail building sessions from Trails Associations across Scotland
  • Support and develop the strategic case for increased investment into the Scottish trail network
  • Fund trail development feasibility study projects to be ‘shovel-ready’ for capital investment
  • Match donations with at least 50% from public and private sector sources to grow the trail network in Scotland

Support the Scottish Trail Fund

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Support the Scottish Trail Fund

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