Better Places Green Recovery Fund Round 2 - Information for Applicants
Published: March 2021
Visitor management throughout the 2021 season is likely to be as equally challenging as last year.
The Better Places Fund (BPF1) was launched by NatureScot in December 2020 to help communities and destinations start, or develop further, pro-active visitor management in “hot spot” locations across Scotland. The fund supported the preliminary stages of visitor management planning, the further development or review of existing plans, as well as feasibility and design work for new infrastructure. The scheme attracted considerable interest with 35 community organisations and environmental NGOs being awarded over £400k in total.
Scottish Ministers have now asked NatureScot to run a second round of the Better Places Fund (BPF2) to help ensure services and infrastructure are in place to manage visitor numbers and behaviours during the coming 2021 season. In this round of funding, local authorities as well as community groups and NGOs will be able to apply.
Up to £2.75 million has been allocated by Scottish Ministers for this one-off round of funding, 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.
Better Places Fund 2
The purpose of this second round is to fund additional visitor management activity in “hot spot” locations in Scotland during the 2021 season 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.
Applications should relate to a specific location or area. More than one application can be made by a single organisation.
Visitor Management Operational Services:
The fund is looking to support additional or new seasonal visitor management staff requirements, over and above any already deployed or in position. These must be posts that directly help with the management of people, pressures and associated outdoor services and facilities, and can include ranger roles that engage with the public and encourage responsible behaviour.
Applicants should consider the most effective use of any additional staff, including requirements for maintaining a good level of staffing during peak capacity times, holiday periods and/or in locations with anti-social behaviour issues. They may wish to combine their deployment with associated infrastructure improvements e.g. temporary toilet provision, additional recycling bins, parking or traffic management arrangements.
The fund is limited and therefore a realistic scale of application is encouraged, we have not limited value or numbers but will make an assessment based on value for money and benefits.
The funding of staff posts is for the 2021 season only, and will extend as a maximum to end October 2021.
Applicants will need to 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).
The fund is looking to provide up to a maximum of £75K towards temporary or permanent visitor management related infrastructure projects (higher value capital project funding is delivered by VisitScotland and the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund). The projects must be ready to deliver quickly in time for the busy summer season, with any consents in place, such as landowner agreements, planning permission, roads and transport authority consents and SEPA licences.
Applicants will need to 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)
We will not support projects that require a site to be closed to visitors during the peak summer months of July and August.
All infrastructure projects should be completed as soon as possible prior to the peak visitor season. Final project claims must be submitted by 30 November 2021 at the latest.
This is a challenge fund with two deadlines for applications:
Fast delivery project applications must be submitted by 9 April 2021 (midnight) and be ready to start (if successful) by 3 May 2021.
All other applications must be submitted by 14 May 2021 (midnight) and be ready to start (if successful) by 7 June 2021.
Who can apply?
Applications are invited from constituted organisations, including local authorities, registered charities, trusts and community groups. Where applications are received from partnerships or organisations working collaboratively, a lead applicant must be identified.
Applications must be for activity or project delivery in Scotland.
Applications from the following groups will not be eligible.
- Scottish Government organisations
- Academic institutes
- Private individuals and companies (only eligible where there is significant public benefit)
What kind of activity will we fund?
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.
|Visitor management measures are in place and operational at visitor “hotspot” locations, in time for summer 2021.
|Communities and interested parties see, or are involved in positive action to address issues and visitor impacts leading to improvements to local and visitor experiences and place.
|Designed solutions and options from visitor management plans are taken forward leading to improvements to places, including green/blue space, which people visit and live beside.
|Communities, including landowners, land managers, businesses and visitors are motivated or empowered to help deliver plans and action in a collaborative way.
|Places under pressure and suffering negative impacts from increased visitation are managed in a sustainable way that supports low impact responsible enjoyment.
|Solutions provide a source of visitor generated income which helps to sustain the infrastructure or service provision.
|Solutions are implemented that encourage a low carbon impact, particularly in areas prone to high levels of car based access.
|Projects and activity align with strategic plans for the area or location and help deliver priority actions.
|Projects and activity that support national communications activity for visitor management
|NatureScot and its strategic partner agencies, including Scottish Government, are better informed about visitor management activity and action applied in 2021 for managing impacts and developing opportunities linked to green tourism.
Examples of the kind of activities we could fund
Visitor management operational services:
- Seasonal rangers, full-time, part-time, full season, part of season, including overheads; and leading on visitor engagement, promotion of SOAC, dealing with issues, patrolling, monitoring impacts, liaison with communities, volunteers, landowners, agencies, police etc.
- Visitor operational staff, full-time, part-time, full season, part of season including overheads. Providing support services to ensure the effective operation of outdoor visitor facilities and services such as managing litter, parking, toilets, camping provision, campervans etc.
Temporary or short term infrastructure:
The hire or purchase of temporary items such as:
- Bins and recycled waste provision
- Variable message signage
The construction and installation of temporary infrastructure such as:
- Traffic management measures such as additional car and bike parking provision and travel hub development.
- Advisory, information and interpretation e.g. signage
- Camping/campervan provision
- Bins/recycled waste provision
The construction and installation of items such as:
- Toilets (new or upgraded)
- Traffic management measures such as additional car and bike parking and provision for low carbon travel
- Advisory, information and interpretation signage
- Camping provision (low key basic)
- Campervan facilities (Aires) including service hubs (waste disposal/water supply)
- Bins/recycled waste provision
- Paths required to manage capacity issues, including urgent repairs
- Landscape improvements/repairs and mitigation measures
What we don’t want to fund
|We will not fund....
|Visitor management plans or feasibility/scoping work
|Purchase of vehicles
|Activity that is not related to the public’s enjoyment of the outdoors and nature
|100% business development proposals (state-aid rules); this fund will not fund the commercial provision of facilities
|Projects that do not involve collaborative working with communities of place or interest
|Projects that would have a negative impact on the natural environment
|Projects or activity already being undertaken by the local authority, national park authority or others
|Posts we will not fund.....
|Core posts or permanent posts covering statutory roles or functions
|Posts already planned for, recruited and/or deployed
|Posts not associated directly with managing visitor pressures in visitor hot spots
|Infrastructure we will not fund....
|Buildings (other than toilet facilities associated with visitor management in rural/outdoor locations that suffer from significant visitor pressures)
|Infrastructure that will not be maintained.
|Infrastructure that is not going to be ready for public use in summer 2021
|Roads that are within the remit of the roads and transport authorities
What costs can be funded?
- Costs for employed staff
- Staff costs inclusive of salary, National Insurance and Employee Pension Contributions
- Overheads (full cost recovery) to cover office accommodation, equipment and running costs and wider staff support (e.g. finance, IT), management and staff training.
- Costs for contracted staff and services
- Contractor fees and appropriate associated expenses
- Costs linked to service provision
- Irrecoverable VAT
- Costs for hiring or purchasing services and equipment
- Rental charges
- Cost of item
- Delivery or siting fees
- Irrecoverable VAT
- Capital costs for temporary and permanent infrastructure
- Contract costs
- Project management fees and appropriate expenses (capped at 10%)
- Specialist advisor fees and appropriate expenses
- Irrecoverable VAT relating to project costs and activities.
The Better Places Fund 2 has been allocated a budget of £2.75 million by Scottish Government.
The primary focus of the fund will be rural locations in Scotland which suffer from excessive visitor pressures including those which suffer from capacity issues, inadequate or no infrastructure and services, damage to natural and cultural heritage; impacts on land-management activity, and anti-social behaviour issues. Parks and reserves that provide popular destinations for the public to enjoy the outdoors and experience nature within or close to urban areas will also be considered where these are experiencing significant visitor management issues.
We will fund up to 100% of project costs, however we prefer to fund projects that have a matched element either cash or in-kind.
You cannot use other sources of NatureScot funding for match-funding such as the Green Infrastructure Fund. Match-funding can be from another government body or other eligible sources such as Lottery funds, charitable trusts, companies or your own funds.
You must have any necessary permissions, such as planning permission, roads authority consent, landowner consent and insurance, in place before a funding offer is made. You will be asked to provide evidence of this.
We have provided an eligibility checklist on page 9 to help you assess if you are eligible to apply. Projects that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be considered further.
Applications that meet the eligibility requirements will then undergo a quality assessment which will score the application based on:
- how well they meet the scheme outcomes (see page 4)
- deliverability and project management
- project costs and value for money
A funding panel including representatives from NatureScot, Visit Scotland and Scottish Government will oversee the allocation of funding.
Evaluation and Reporting
All successful applicants will be required to evaluate and report back on their projects.
We expect you to tell us in your application how you will measure and demonstrate the success of your project, including demonstrating if your aims and outcomes have been achieved (infrastructure projects will also need to complete a post project evaluation report in October 2022).
A short project report must be submitted to NatureScot after completion of the project, briefly describing the activities undertaken, successes and challenges, and outcomes of the project including photos and any next steps. You should also confirm the amount of funding spent.
|Opening date for applications
|19 March 2021
|Closing date for fast delivery applications
|9 April 2021
|Closing date for second round applications
|14 May 2021
|Application decisions and funding offers
|30 April and 28 May 2021
|Projects end date
|On or before 31 October 2021
|Final claim date
|On or before 30 November 2021
|Final reports received
|On or before 30 November 2021
You will be required to acknowledge NatureScot support as set out in the guidance How to acknowledge our support for your project
Any further queries not answered in this Information for Applicants can be sent to [email protected]
To access all application documents.
Please use this list of questions to check that your project is eligible before applying.
- Is the application form complete?
- Is the requested grant within the limits (£75k for Visitor Infrastructure projects)?
- Is your organisation eligible for funding (see “Who can apply”)?
- Does your project directly relate to managing visitor pressures and impacts in Scotland’s under pressure areas?
- Does your project contribute to the essential outcome plus at least one other outcome?
- Will your project end no later than 31 October 2021?
- Is evaluation and reporting included as part of the project?
- Have you included a map(s) of the area/location for project activity at a suitable scale and background?
- For operational services e.g. staffing: have you included a recruitment statement?
- For operational services e.g. staffing: have you included a job plan(s)?
- For infrastructure: have you included project designs/drawings?
- For infrastructure: have you included evidence of land owner permission?
- For infrastructure or services: have you included quotes, tender prices and/or a copy of hire rates?
- Have you included evidence of, or the need for, planning permission, roads authority consent, or other regulatory requirements or permissions (if your project is successful, we will not make a funding offer to you until they are received by us)?