Use of the Aggregates Levy funding in Scotland
The Aggregates Levy is a UK environmental tax on the commercial exploitation of aggregate (sand, gravel and rock, with some exceptions). In Scotland, a percentage of the Levy receipts is received by the Government.
From 2002 to 2008 the Aggregates Levy funding, administered within the Sustainable Action Fund, had a focus on the remediation of the effects of quarrying: local community projects promoting the restoration of the natural environment; biodiversity projects; and a range of major projects with a general relevance to aggregates and environmental impact.
Since then, Scotland's share of the money raised by the UK Government from the Aggregates Levy is indirectly reflected in the Scottish Government's overall spending review settlement. Environmental spending is a devolved matter and the Scottish Government's plans for environmental spending are set out in its budget. The Budget published in November 2007 outlined that planned spending on Sustainable Development and Climate Change includes the new Climate Challenge Fund.
Through this Climate Challenge Fund, the government will support all communities across Scotland to take positive action to tackle climate change. This new fund provides a higher level of resources for community initiatives compared to the Aggregates Levy Community Environmental Renewal Scheme from 2002 to 2008.
Information on projects funded from the Aggregates Levy: 2002-07 and 2007-08.
Community Environmental Renewal Scheme
The Community Environmental Renewal Grants Scheme, which operated from 2002 to 2008, has ceased to operate. Allocated half of the Aggregates Levy funding, it assisted Scottish communities in localities close to sites of past or present aggregate extraction (rock, gravel or sand).
Over six years the Scottish Government supported 344 environmental projects - many of which had funding from additional sources - in communities across Scotland in the vicinity of existing or disused quarries. The total number of funded projects takes into account the non-completion of some approved projects, and some projects requiring less funding than offered and ability to extend available funding to other projects, and the final assessment of the total number of projects from 2002 to 2008 explains the difference from the figure stated in a parliamentary answer on April 16, 2008.
Community Environmental Renewal Grants from 2002 to 2008
In 2002-03 and 2003-04 the scheme supported a wide range of community based projects addressing the environmental effects of aggregate extraction such as visual impacts, noise, dust, transport and loss of habitat, with £2.77 million paid to 127 projects throughout Scotland. Projects included community woodlands, path networks, interpretation of quarrying heritage and safe play areas away from quarry traffic.
The 2002-03 projects were announced on February 11, 2003. Read also more information about these projects. Forward Scotland administered the scheme for 2003-04 on behalf of the Scottish Government. The projects offered grant in 2003-04 were announced in August 2003 and November 2003.
From 2004 to 2007, with more than £4 million available for grants, projects within 5 miles of a quarry did not need to demonstrate a link with quarrying, but had to fit within the following themes: landscape and community recreation, habitat restoration and local biodiversity, restoration and protection of historic environment, pollution mitigation, geological work. Projects more than 5 miles from a quarry were eligible if they addressed some impact of quarrying activity (e.g. visual impact, noise, dust, pollution, transport, loss of habitat) - this applied mainly to routes affected by quarry traffic.
Forward Scotland administered the scheme in 2004-07. Grants offered were announced on October 7 and December 3 2004, March 4, April 22 and July 22 2005, and March 3 and July 7 2006. With the completion of the seventh and final round of applications, £4.32 million was offered during these three years to 169 projects, which all required to be complete by March 2007. Examples of 2004-07 scheme projects.
The Scottish Government announced the Community Environmental Renewal Grants Scheme for 2007-08, also managed by Forward Scotland, on March 5, 2007. In 2007-08 projects had to demonstrate environmental impact from quarrying activity such as visual impact, noise, dust, pollution, transport or loss of habitat, or involve restoration of a quarry disused since 1980, and they had to be directed at the provision, restoration, protection or the promotion of understanding of landscape, habitats and local biodiversity; the built or cultural environment, including historic, geological or archaeological heritage; or community recreational amenities.
On August 2 funding of £1.24 million was announced from the 2007-08 scheme for 29 communities across Scotland, and on September 12 grant of £497,116 for 16 more projects: this page lists the announced projects. The final total of projects supported in 2007-08 increased from 45 to 48 as a result of the progress of approved projects and funding consequently available for some projects held in reserve. The total grant paid in 2007-08 was £1.85 million.
Over the six years 2002-08, £8.94 million was allocated to 344 Community Environmental Renewal Scheme projects.