A project to improve active travel routes in the Lugar and Doon valleys has received a cash boost of £825,752.08 to upgrade 38.5km of pathways and install 10.5km more.

The money was awarded to East Ayrshire Council - lead partner in the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership - by the Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund Round 3 awards. Of the total, £611,664.80 will be supplied by the European Regional Development Fund and £214,087.28 from the Scottish Government.

The CCLP is also partly funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

They say there will be new sections to connect current paths, creating a new, long-distance route

The new and improved active travel route links the towns and schools of the river valleys and connects with both existing and proposed active travel hubs within each town (Ochiltree, Cumnock and Dalmellington).

Display boards will be installed throughout the route to explain the landscape, the landmarks and items of natural heritage interest. A path warden scheme will also operate.

They hope to begin work on the paths in late Spring or early summer of 2021.

Anneke Freel, East Ayrshire Chief Officer and CCLP Board member, said: “East Ayrshire Leisure are delighted to hear about the award of the Low Carbon Travel and Transport Fund funding. This, along with the match funding from the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership, will enable us to deliver improvements to footpaths in the Lugar and Doon valley, improving access to, and information on, the rich natural and cultural history of the Coalfields area.”