A further £1 million has been ear-marked to support local cycling projects Transport Minister John Spellar announced today.
Local authorities, charities and cycling organisations, including commercial concerns, have been invited to submit bids for the money, which is the second round of the Department for Transport Cycling Projects Fund and follows the first round which gave grants of £2 million last year.
Each time the fund has been announced, BikeBiz.co.uk has forcefully suggested IBDs and suppliers should create projects eligble for the awards, but few have ever done so.
Get real, this is easy money. You need a bright idea and a business plan, of course, but it's far easier to get a chunk of this DoT cash than applying for small business grants (where you're generally put through the mill).
Anyway, to get back to today's announcement, here's what the minister said:
"I am delighted to make this money available for schemes which will increase the amount we cycle. I believe it offers real opportunities to develop interesting local projects that would not usually receive funding from central Government," said Spellar.
"An increase in cycling will not be achieved by the actions of Central and local Government alone. Cycling organisations, voluntary groups and the private sector all need to play their parts and this initiative is designed to assist grass-roots action by these groups."
The Cycling Projects Fund was originally launched in March last year. Due to the number and quality of the bids received, the DoT doubled the amount of funding made available in the first bidding window.
The Department received over 550 applications in the first round and is currently funding 138 projects costing £2.18m.
This is the second and last round of the fund with a further £1m available to bidders.
The second round of the fund is being organised on similar lines to round one. Grants are available within a lower limit of £250 and an upper limit of £50,000 to projects with guaranteed matched funding, of 20 percent for charitable groups and 50 percent for others.
"Bidders will need to satisfy the Department that they can spend all their grant by March
2004." (Hmm, tough clause, that one!)
The fund is open to any project, such as cycle parking, cycle routes and cycle training, that could be expected to achieve an increase in cycling.
All bids must be received by 31 March 2003. The winners are announced in June. Be one of them!
Copies of the application form, conditions and the criteria against which applications will be assessed are now available from the Department for Transport Charging and Local Transport Division, Zone 3/23 Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DR.
Applications can also be filled in on line at http://www.local-transport.dft.gov.uk/.../index.htm