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Today (27th March 2014) the newly formed Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) came into being, as part of a programme of changes to the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) initiative.

The new CSGNT, which ‘inherited’ all the assets of the CSFT, will devote all of its resources to driving forward delivery of the CSGN with a wide range of stakeholders including local authorities, regional partnerships, landowners, environmental groups and local communities, in order to help realise the CSGN Vision.

The role and activities of the CSGNT are intended to be complementary to, and supportive of, the wider CSGN network. Through working with others, the principal aim of the CSGNT is to bring about the realisation of the Green Network on the ground, and the benefits that this will bring to local communities, businesses and wildlife.

The new CSGNT Board includes Chairperson, Keith Geddes and 11 non-executive directors from public agencies, local authorities and communities of interest e.g. development, health, sustainable transport. Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Enterprise are the formal members of the Company.

Keith Geddes, Chair of the CSGNT Partnership Board, said: “On behalf of the wider CSGN initiative I welcome the creation of the new Trust which will play a fundamental role in delivering environmental improvements across Central Scotland.

“I’m looking forward to working with partners to deliver the new mission for the Trust as it evolves to provide capacity to help realise the Vision for the CSGN.”

Ownership and oversight of the CSGN initiative on behalf of Ministers has transferred to the Natural Resources Division in the Scottish Government (SG), effective from April 2014. (Prior to this date, the initiative had been led jointly by Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage).

A new CSGN Programme Committee (CSGN PC)has been established by SG to ensure progress is in line with Ministers’ ambitions (as expressed through the CSGN Vision, the National Planning Framework and other relevant plans, policies and strategies) and to establish mutually supportive links with other relevant policies and programmes.

Dr Bob MacIntosh, Director Environment and Forestry at the Scottish Government and Chairman of the CSGN PC, said: ”I’m delighted at the formation of the new CSGN Trust. This ensure that greater resources are available to drive forward the delivery of the Green Network right across central Scotland – helping to realise the many benefits for the economy, society and the environment. CSFT has a proud record of rising to the challenge to deliver improvements to the lives of people living in the central belt and I am sure will continue to do so for even more people in their new guise.”

Peter Russell, Former Chair of CSFT, said: “Since the beginning, CSFT has been all about making a fundamental improvement to the quality of the environment, and thereby enhancing the daily experience of local people and making the area more attractive for business.

“With the creation of the new CSGNT, which has a new and broader mission to drive forward the delivery of the CSGN, there is an opportunity to continue to improve the quality of the environment in this part of Scotland. In doing this this we will also be directly addressing the challenge of climate change and making a significant contribution to local economic growth.”