A new fund to help residents improve their back lane has been launched by Glasgow City Council.
The Private Lane Improvement Fund will provide grants of up to £20,000 to support the efforts of owners to address a range of environmental issues on their shared property. Not including the city centre, Glasgow has over 900 privately-owned lanes and many are poorly looked after as owners are often unaware of their responsibility to manage and maintain these spaces.
But with a £700,000 budget to tap into, the Private Lane Improvement Fund will give owners financial support to tackle problems such as overgrown trees and vegetation, surface water and drainage difficulties and anti-social behaviour. It is also hoped that the fund will support communal food growing spaces and measures that promote biodiversity.
The fund is part of a strategy to encourage owners to take a greater interest in the upkeep of their lane. An on-line information toolkit has also been created which provides guidance on how owners, factors and landlords can best work together for the benefit of their lane. A growing number of groups and associations have now formed across the city to ensure their shared spaces are being maintained properly.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, sees supporting owners with shared commitment for their environment as a way to unlock the potential that exists in neighbourhoods and local communities.
Cllr Richardson said: "The condition of privately-owned back lanes has been a concern for some time but there are clear signs that more and more owners are stepping up to improve their property. Neglected lanes become increasingly difficult to access for key services such as cleansing but can also attract fly-tipping and other kinds of anti-social behaviour.
"Having owners willing to take charge of their lanes will lead directly to environmental improvements that benefit residents in their everyday life. But we've also found the people coming together to deal with a shared concern has been great for community cohesion. People getting to know one another better and work alongside one another for a common purpose has been a great experience for those involved.
"The private lane fund is about building on the good work of owners that already exists and giving them financial backing to keep improving their environments. Our new neighbourhood coordinators are also working in every council ward across the city to provide residents with support and guidance on tackling issues that affect their local area."
Mandy Evans Ewing, a Mount Florida resident who has been working with neighbours responsible for Hampden Lane, agrees that community spirit has blossomed since people started working together on their lane. An initial clear-up of Hampden Lane filled six, council-provided skips with debris and now there are 70 members in their group in regular contact about the maintenance of the lane.
Mandy said: "It's been great to see the transformation in the lane since we started working together. We have a What's App group and that's really helped improve communication when an issue comes up that needs attention. The difference in community spirit has been fantastic."
Grants available through the fund will range from £1000 to £20,000 and can be used to buy equipment, cover the cost of repairs and other maintenance or develop space for communal use.
Groups seeking grants need to be formally constituted and proposed work requires agreement among owners to be eligible for a grant.
Full details available on the council's website - https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=26610