Ian Findlay Path Fund

Funding for community and third sector organisations to support the improvement of local paths within and between communities

New paths can create vital connections within and between local communities

The Ian Findlay Path Fund (IFPF), now in its third year, supports the improvement of local path networks within and between communities, making it easier for people to choose to walk wheel or cycle for everyday journeys. 

This grant fund is supported by Transport Scotland and has already awarded over £2,500,000 to almost 40 projects, Scotland wide. These projects improve local path networks and make active travel a more attractive option for for all users. 

Almost £1.2million is available to be awarded during 2024. Demand is likely to be high so get in touch with the team to discuss your project as early as possible.

‘Active travel’ means making journeys in physically active ways: walking, wheeling (using a scooter wheelchair or wheeled mobility aid) or cycling. The aim is to make active travel the obvious choice when planning journeys.

The fund supports projects that clearly demonstrate that they will make it easier for people to travel actively. They must also meet at least one other of the program outcomes. These are: 

  • To Improve accessibility of existing paths

  • To improve resilience of paths 

  • To improve use of existing local path networks through development of new link paths

  • To improve safety and increase community confidence

  • To increase community of core path and local path networks 

The fund is named in memory of our late Chief Officer, Ian Findlay CBE. Ian made a huge impact during his time at Paths for All and this fund recognises and continues his legacy.


What is eligible for funding?

Activities eligible for funding include:

  • Improving resilience of existing paths, for example, between homes, community facilities, places of work, active travel routes and public transport hubs. This will make paths more reliable for community path users.

  • Creating new path links, for example, between homes, community facilities, places of work, active travel routes and public transport hubs. This increases options for people planning local journeys.

  • Removing barriers to make existing paths more accessible. This may include removal of steps or reduction of gradients, etc.

  • Improving safety and increasing path users’ confidence. For example, by providing lighting, directional signage, or seating. When people feel safe and confident, they are more likely to make use of available paths.

  • Developing detailed designs to help deliver the activities noted above. The IFPF can fund technical design work for path projects. This will enable applicants to prepare the information needed for the tendering and construction stage of a path project. 


Who can apply?

The IFPF is available to a wide range of organisations. This includes: 

  • Constituted community groups and clubs 

  • Registered charities 

  • Not-for-profit organisations or Community Interest Companies 

  • Educational establishments 

  • Community Councils and Community or Development Trusts 

  • National Park Authorities

The fund is not available to individuals, sole traders, commercial companies or local authorities. The fund is only available to projects delivering in Scotland


Grant value

Funding of between £10,000 - £100,000 is available, with 30% match funding required (15% can be in kind).

If you are at an early stage of your project, we can offer up to 100% of design costs.

Technical advice

Technical expertise is included within the IFPF team. We can provide advice and guidance on:

  • Planning and developing IFPF projects

  • Path design principles

  • Preparing contract documentation for tenders

  • Path construction standards


How to apply

If you want to make an application to the IFPF, please read our Guidance Document first. We recommend that you get in touch with our dedicated team at IFPF@pathsforall.org.uk to discuss initial proposals.

Once you have spoken to a member of our team and established that your project meets the terms of the fund, you should complete an Expression of Interest on our grants portal.

We aim to visit every prospective project, to offer in person guidance and advice before you submit your IFPF Application.

If you are already registered, log in to our Grants portal. If you are not already registered you can find information about how to get yourself registered, in the Guidance Document.