N76 Energy in Motion

Project Information

Project Overview 

The N76 Energy in Motion project is a partnership with six development trusts based along and around the A76 trunk road in Dumfries & Galloway and East Ayrshire. The project was started in response to development trusts’ concerns about local barriers to travel and ways to reduce these barriers by improving low carbon transport (LCT) options. The development trusts have identified transport as a shared challenge for their communities and essential for achieving local development goals. 

Achievements so far

The key success of the N76 project has been in bringing the development trust partners and other key stakeholders together to share knowledge and support each other in working toward their shared goals for connecting the N76 area. Other achievements include: 

  • Supporting Nith Valley Leaf Trust’s successful application for funding and purchase of their own cargo- and e-bikes, with a hire scheme expected to launch in spring 2024. 
  • Advice and knowledge sharing between the N76 groups, inspiring and supporting NVLT’s ongoing Closeburn-Thornhill path project and contributing to Sanquhar Enterprise Company’s Braeheads path improvement project. 
  • A collaborative partnership formed between local community transport providers, enabling mutual support. 
  • A growing reputation for the N76 group as a leading example of partnership work on sustainable transport, recognised by local community members, funders, local authorities and elsewhere in Scotland. 

What does this project involve? 

YEAR 1 

In the first year of the project, we identified LCT challenges and potential in the local area through public consultations. These consultations were used to create six in-depth transport plans and a summary report which highlight achievable solutions and future projects for individual development trusts and the overall N76 project area.  

Events are a key aspect of the N76 project and have included learning visits, workshops and networking sessions which are open to other relevant organisations and the public. In year 1, these included a visit to Beattock Station Action Group to hear about their campaign for a train station, and to Ettrick & Yarrow Development Company to see their LCT projects. We also held a workshop event during which attendees helped map active travel routes within the project area and shared ideas for improving walking, cycling and wheeling options for our communities.   

YEAR 2 

In our second year, we supported the N76 partners to develop individual and joint transport projects, with the aim of tackling some of the challenges and opportunities for transport in the N76 area that were identified in year 1.   

Local interest in the path mapping workshop led to two further events in Moniaive and New Cumnock in year 2, this time with a specific focus on active travel within each individual community. We also organised learning visits to the Wheels of Fleet cycling project in Gatehouse of Fleet and Coalfield Community Transport in Cumnock, both of which are highly successful transport initiatives. 

Community transport (CT) was an important aspect of year 2 of the project, due to the need for support identified in the year 1 transport plans and the enthusiasm of local CT providers and N76 partners to work together on their shared challenges.  

More details are available below, in the End of Year 2 Report. 

YEAR 3 

In year 3, we will continue support for individual partner projects started in year 2. This will include facilitating collaboration between the partners, community transport providers, local authorities and other key organisations such as Ramblers, as well as additional support from the N76 DO with issues like funding applications. Events will remain an important aspect of community engagement and knowledge sharing. 

A long-term aim of the N76 project is to investigate how the project area might benefit from electric vehicles (EVs) and car clubs. In year 3, the group will work with key contacts including Dumfries & Galloway Council and SWestrans, as well as CES’ own Orkney Car Club, to investigate the viability of these options for their communities. 

Year 3 will see the development of a guide to sustainable travel in the N76 area, benefiting from the wealth of knowledge shared between the N76 partners and communities over the course of N76. This guide will showcase opportunities to travel sustainably within and between the N76 communities, including recreational active travel routes as well as practical ways to get from A to B. Accessibility, affordability and celebrating the landscapes and heritage of the N76 area will be emphasised throughout. 

Who are we working with? 

The N76 partners are comprised of six development trusts on and around the A76 in Dumfries and Galloway and East Ayrshire. 

  • Moniaive Initiative, Glencairn Parish 
  • Nith Valley Leaf Trust, Closeburn Parish 
  • KPT Development Trust, Keir, Penpont and Tynron Parishes 
  • Sanquhar Enterprise Company, Sanquhar Parish 
  • Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Development Trust, Kirkconnel Parish 
  • New Cumnock Development Trust, New Cumnock Parish  

How can I keep up with the project? 

To keep up with project updates, sign up to events and get in touch, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter or email rosie.brown@nullcommunityenergyscotland.org.uk You can also check the latest N76 blog in our Blog space

Read: End of Year 2 Report 2023-2024

The N76 project began in 2022 and is made possible thanks to the support of Paths For All’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund and Foundation Scotland’s Clyde Community Fund.

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