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Bright Future for Scotland's Young People

our bright future

Scotland’s young people step up and create what is rightfully theirs: a healthy planet, a thriving economy and a brighter future

Three months on from the Paris climate change agreement, the Big Lottery Fund is investing £33 million in more than 30 organisations to inspire and develop the next generation of environmental leaders. Impact Arts is receiving £1 million.

Our Bright Future aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today - a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change. Thirty one youth-led projects across the UK are each receiving around £1m of funding to give young people the skills and knowledge to improve their local environments – from reducing marine pollution to minimising food waste. In doing so, young people will develop the confidence and resilience to become environmental leaders and influence decisions at local and national levels. This young, ambitious and capable movement is ensuring this generation’s voice is heard in the current debates around environmental improvements and a resource-efficient economy.

Impact Arts will be working with Thenue Housing Association in Glasgow, Barrhead Housing Association in East Renfrewshire and Irvine Bay Regeneration Company in Ayrshire to deliver Creative Pathways Environmental Design. The programme will introduce young, unemployed people with little or no experience of environmental issues to nature, environmental awareness and green skills through practical, creative and fun projects. As well as building confidence and developing employability skills, the project will provide a lasting legacy for the local community by creating new urban or green spaces, which will be creatively designed, have environmental issues at their core and educate through innovative interpretive material.

But Our Bright Future goes a lot further than the impressive impacts seen by these individual projects. The programme is gathering strong evidence about how we can support the development of the environment and young people using a resource efficient and sustainable ‘green’ economy. More than a hundred organisations are contributing to the wider Our Bright Future movement by sharing evidence, learning and knowledge which will soon start to inform the choices made at local, regional, and national levels in the UK.

Our Bright Future is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts. The partnership has more than 40 years of combined experience in managing social and environmental grant programmes totalling nearly £300 million, and has a proven track record of working with and empowering young people in communities of all social circumstances.

Fiona Doring, Acting Director of Impact Arts said:

“I’m delighted that Impact Arts has been chosen to deliver this innovative new programme. Working with partners across Scotland, we’re giving young people the creative skills and practical experience to tackle environmental challenges and empower them to work towards a brighter future for themselves and their communities.”

Shirley Robison, Chief Executive at Barrhead Housing Association said:

“Barrhead Housing Association has had a successful partnership with Impact Arts over the last 2 years and we’ve achieved a successful creative employability programme with external funding, particularly Scottish Government People and Communities Fund. We look forward to this partnership work continuing and making a difference for our young people of East Renfrewshire.”

Lawrence McCabe, Community Regeneration Manager at Thenue Housing Association said:

“Glasgow has no shortage of land in need of improvement and Thenue Housing is delighted that some of the land blighting our communities can be improved through this innovative programme. It is particularly pleasing that we can achieve this while at the same time supporting young people to get the skills and experience that will help them find employment.”

Marion Francis, Project Manager at Irvine Bay Regeneration Company said:

“We look forward to working with Impact Arts to deliver this innovative and creative programme to enhance our environment in i3, Irvine’s Enterprise Area and the surrounding area. Our aim is to attract jobs and investment to North Ayrshire, and developing our young peoples’ work skills and raising aspirations is key to ensuring that they benefit from these very same jobs being created.”

Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts said:

Our Bright Future is an innovative movement for change. It is brilliant that the Big Lottery Fund has recognised that societal and environmental challenges are two sides of the same coin. The programme supports young people to develop the skills needed to thrive in the workplace and it does so through the environment. We want to see a generation of courageous and wise leaders empowered to change our world for the better.”

Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund said:

“The environment is where we live. Our Bright Future is designed to unleash the ambition of young people across the UK to make a personal and collective contribution to making our environment brighter, happier and more resilient to threats like climate change and the waste of natural resources.

“This initiative over the next seven years aims to join up the social, economic and environmental benefits that will come from enabling young people to shape their own future and others that follow them.”


Katie Smith on 0141 575 3001/ for more information.

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