Perth and Kinross Council secures £150K national Pathfinder Places funding

Perth and Kinross Council secures £150K national Pathfinder Places funding

Following a winning bid for £150K of Innovate UK Pathfinder Places funding, two local community-led projects aimed at revitalising homes and improving rural transport links will be taken forward.

The proposed projects that will be supported by this funding were voted on by local residents and businesses, and will be taken forward by Perth & Kinross Council and its partners.

The funding award follows a successful Phase 1 Pathfinder Places project in mid-2023 undertaken by the Council in partnership with Nicki Souter Associates Ltd, the University of Edinburgh and The HEAT Project (part of Blairgowrie & Rattray Development Trust).

Councillor Richard Watters, Convener of the Council’s Climate Change & Sustainability Committee, said: “This is fantastic news and reflects the commitment the Council has made to work in partnership with communities and to develop a resilient, stronger and greener local economy. My thanks go to everyone involved in Phase 1 and I look forward to seeing Phase 2 moving forward in the months ahead.”

Perth & Kinross Funding Project 1: Revitalising Homes

Revitalising Homes will look at creating a sustainable, retrofit project for housing throughout the Perth and Kinross Council area, with the majority of work centred on developing schemes that will be available for use by homeowners, and private and social housing landlords alike.

The majority of the work will focus on two schemes that will be available for homeowners, and private and social housing landlords to utilise.

  • Creating a local Green Skills Trusted Traders’ Network and supplier/installer framework prioritising local businesses.
  • Creating a viable business model for a one-stop-shop for retrofit advice and support.

Perth & Kinross Funding Project 2: Connecting Regional Travel

Connecting Regional Travel will explore the viability of two new services focusing on the rural town of Aberfeldy: one looking at an express bus route to Perth, and the other concentrating on a minibus service connecting surrounding villages with Aberfeldy. Recent community engagement carried out by Rural Transport Futures will be taken into consideration, and the project will be carried out in consultation with the Upper Tay Transport Group.

In addition, it will investigate the capacity to synchronise bus timetables with key destinations such as healthcare services and train stations, provision of express bus services and other transport options including reduced-cost fare options to promote demand and encourage people to choose other options for their daily commute, in an effort to reduce the number of vehicles on local roads.

About Pathfinder Places Funding

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, invested up to £28.75 million in innovation projects across the two strands of this competitive funding pot. The phase 2 investment supports Pathfinder Phase 1 projects to deliver and demonstrate their innovative approaches to unlock non-technical systemic barriers to the delivery of net zero targets.

Pathfinder Places Funding phase 2 is aimed at projects that will:

  • demonstrate how market barriers can be broken down in practice, and for businesses to access the market opportunity available
  • build capacity and capability in places to address the net zero transition challenge
  • enable knowledge exchange between places, to learn, adapt and accelerate their own plans

Projects had to consider the whole net zero system including: power, heat, mobility, product manufacture and usage, and agriculture.

Project updates as Phase 2 progresses will be available from the PK Climate Action website at

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