A range of community walking and cycling projects aimed at supporting people to be more active are being run this summer after receiving funding from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Organisations across every district in the region have been successful in bidding for community grants of up to £5,000 made available by the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme. Organisations will provide a range of activities designed to help people walk and cycle more as part of their everyday lives.
Inclusive walking projects featured particularly strongly among the successful applications. Overall 20 grants have been awarded in the first phase of funding, totalling £82,000, with 14 of the grants supporting projects that will enable people to get out more on foot, and reconnecting with the communities around them.
They include the BBest Community Hub, running a week-long challenge at 22 schools across Batley and Birstall encouraging children to walk, cycle, run, skip, scoot and dance to school, aimed at addressing concerns over increased screen time due to the pandemic and creating healthier habits for life.
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “It is a key priority and election pledge of mine to ensure that as a region we focus squarely on accessibility, inclusivity, diversity and equality in all our funding decisions. The community grants scheme is a brilliant example of putting this vision into action.
“The 20 fantastic projects benefitting from this funding will support people in their communities who need it the most, using walking and cycling as a way to improve people’s experience of living in those communities, and to benefit their health and everyday lives.”
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, transport portfolio lead for West Yorkshire, added: “We’re delighted to be able to offer the community grants scheme again in 2021. We know encouraging people to walk and cycle more has significant benefits for the health of people in our communities, but these projects are also providing a way to bring communities together, which is especially important as we re-adjust to life following the pandemic.”
The 2021 round of community grants is supported by the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund, introduced in 2020 as a response to the pandemic. The West Yorkshire Combined Authority was awarded £12.5 million to deliver a programme of proposals to create more space for cycling and walking, while easing the pressure on public transport and relieving congestion.
In phase two of the community grants scheme, the Combined Authority is hoping to fund a further 55 projects, with a total of £224,851 in funding. This second phase is dependent on further funding from the Department for Transport.
Read the July issue of BikeBiz below: