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Green Infrastructure Capital Grant

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The Green Infrastructure Capital Grant supports Green Infrastructure developments over a 4 year period (2017- 2021).

As part of the wider programme the funding can also be used as match funding to attract and increase levels of investment in green infrastructure in Wales from EU LIFE, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and wider funding providers for Green Infrastructure projects including:

  • Landscape scale interventions under the Environment Act,
  • Improving the quality of the urban environment,
  • Access to the environment for health and the economy,
  • Investigation and remediation of contaminated land.
The Green Infrastructure Capital Grant is providing funding for a number of projects across the priority areas set including:

Providing match funding for EU LIFE

The grant provides a match funding contribution towards Wales-based bids submitted under the EU Life programme. The following project was approved by the EU Life programme and supported by the fund during 2017:

Other projects submitted to the EU LIFE programme that are currently in the process of being assessed include:

  • Sands of LIFE - The main objective of this project is to improve the conservation status of Welsh sand dune habitats, through the restoration of geomorphological processes. The project proposes to restore dynamic conditions and set back succession through a variety of restoration techniques. 
  • Celtic Rainforests LIFE - The purpose of this project is to improve the conservation status of four key SACs for Celtic Rainforest in the north and west of Wales. These woodlands, due to their levels of humidity and associated biodiversity, support internationally important communities of lichens, mosses and bryophytes and significant populations of migratory songbirds. The project will remove Invasive Alien Species, such as Rhododendron Ponticum, and created “buffer-zones” to reduce the likelihood of re-infestation from neighbouring land. 
The outcome of these applications is likely to be known around April of 2018.
 

Contaminated land investigation

The grant has supported the investigation and remediation of the following priority contaminated land in 2017-18/19:

Applicant authority  Investigation or remediation  Site overview 
 Anglesey  Investigation  Multiple historical industries (including a smelter and chemical works)
 Flintshire  Investigation  Former lead mining activities
 Flintshire  Investigation  Former landfill site
 Pembrokeshire  Investigation  Former landfill site
 Pembrokeshire  Investigation  Former landfill site
 Wrexham  Investigation  Former chemical and domestic waste sites
 Wrexham  Investigation  Former iron works
 Natural Resources Wales  Remediation  Capping work at former Frongoch metal mine
 Natural Resources Wales  Remediation (Trial)  Remediation trial at former metal mine polluting river Rheidol
 Natural Resources Wales  Remediation (Trial)  Remediation trial to treat metal pollution at the former Frongoch metal mine


Interim Local Authority Green Infrastructure Capital Grant 

As an interim arrangement between the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19 local authorities, working with partner organisations, identified local priority projects that could be delivered to:

  • Improve or enhance green infrastructure and/or explore innovative application of green infrastructure for the direct benefit of improving air quality. This will include but will not be limited to employing relevant equipment for gathering supporting data and evidence, to direct and prioritise plans for implementation and to monitor effectiveness.
  • Take forward the improvement, development and implementation of urban green infrastructure plans including investment in tools, models and new programmes to help survey and understand where action is needed and to inform and monitor effective targeted implementation with a clear focus on urban settings.
The interim support available focused on local priority projects, where ideas were reasonably advanced and capital spend could be implemented at short notice and within the timescales set out within the guidance. 

The following projects were awarded funding through the grant:
Lead local authority  Project title 
Bridgend Craig y Parcau Local Nature Reserve (LNR) Riverside Walk improvements. The project will adopt a more natural solution to riverside revetment works, utilising existing debris and materials to help maintain the aesthetic of the riverside walk but also assist in dissipating river energy on the bank.
Caerphilly Strategic approach to managing invasive plant species across the counties of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.
Caerphilly Green Infrastructure strategy development and enhancements for pollinators, biodiversity and public access.
Cardiff  Cardiff Green Infrastructure improvements: This trees and air quality project focusses on the benefits of trees and planting to the city, with a specific emphasis on methods of addressing air quality issues.
Denbighshire Development of a North East Wales Regional Green Infrastructure Plan and improving the resilience and accessibility of local scale Green Infrastructure in Denbighshire and Flintshire.
Denbighshire Pwll Glas Community Miles Project will improve links between the local shop, school, two pubs, a nature reserve and historic monument to provide the opportunity for people to lead healthier lifestyles and learn more about their local area whilst supporting rural businesses.
Gwynedd  Creation of a multi user path for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users at Ty Moelwyn, Porthmadog to link between two existing routes.
Monmouthshire Monmouthshire Green Infrastructure Programme to support a shared approach to managing green infrastructure across the County.
Neath Port Talbot Cross-boarder Green Infrastructure Opportunity Mapping and Multi-scale Delivery; including Bridgend and Swansea authorities.
Torfaen Green Infrastructure interventions will include: physical improvements to address air pollution and improve ecological capital data collection and analysis; and data collection and analysis and actions to improve air quality on a sub-regional basis.
Wrexham Ty Mawr Country Park improvements to access, biodiversity and community awareness project.

Future opportunities

An  evidence mapping exercise is currently being undertaken with the input of the Strategic Evidence Group, to explore how the grant can more effectively target investment for projects, where multiple issues and need exist in relation to Green Infrastructure.  The outcome of this work will be used to target future investment through the fund in the future.