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Applications open for funding to make walking and cycling more accessible to all

Scheme enables community groups to benefit from grants to encourage Londoners of all backgrounds to walk and cycle

TfL has announced that applications are open for more than £500,000 of grants for community and not-for-profit groups that encourage people to walk and cycle.

Enabling more people to walk and cycle is an important part of boosting Londoners' wellbeing and mental health as the capital recovers from the pandemic.

Walking and Cycling Grants London aims to address barriers to walking and cycling amongst traditionally underrepresented groups, helping to make London a more sustainable, inclusive and healthy city.

Funded by Transport for London in partnership with The London Marathon Charitable Trust and administered by Groundwork London, the programme can provide grants of up to £10,000 over three years to successful applicants.

Applicants to this scheme will be judged on the potential of their idea to benefit the local community and boost walking and cycling levels.

Walking and cycling have been hugely important to many people during the pandemic, both as a form of transport for getting around London and as a way of getting exercise within local communities, with many people starting to cycle for the first time.

To encourage smaller community groups who may have been inspired to walk and cycle more over the past year to continue to do so, TfL and Groundwork London, with thanks to support from The London Marathon Charitable Trust, have developed a Community Ideas Grant scheme.

This will help to kickstart smaller projects across London that are based previous successes in other communities.

Groups will be able to find ideas by browsing successful former projects on the Community Ideas Hub, and then apply for funding of up to £5,000 to replicate these in their local community. Potential applicants will get help and support along their application process and while they deliver their projects.

Applications for both grants are now open and can be accessed at wcgl.london. The application window for both grant programmes is open for six weeks until 17:00 on 10 September 2021.

Successful applicants will be announced in November 2021 and should begin their projects in December 2021. Applicants can visit wcgl.london to find out more about the programme or contact the programme at wcgl@groundwork.org.uk.

Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: 'I'm delighted that community groups can now benefit from our grants that are enabling Londoners of all backgrounds to walk and cycle.

'By showing Londoners that walking and cycling are convenient, easy and fun ways to get around, we can improve their health and quality of life, as well as reducing toxic air pollution - improving our city for everyone.'

Miranda Leedham, Head of Customer Marketing and Behaviour Change at TfL, said: 'Breaking down the barriers that prevent people accessing the many benefits of walking and cycling is a vital part of making the capital a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable place for everyone.

'We've seen more than 41,000 people benefit from our Walking and Cycling Grants funding over the years and are looking forward to seeing even more Londoners of all ages and backgrounds get active with our new funding scheme.'

Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: 'The last year has shown that creating opportunities to enable people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to get active through walking and cycling has never been of such importance.

'This is the second year of The Trust's partnership with TfL's Walking and Cycling Grants London programme, and with last year's projects now delivering new walking and cycling activities for thousands of people across London, we are looking forward to building on this and supporting more people to get active.

'Through the addition of the Community Ideas Grants scheme, we hope many new smaller groups, who play such a valuable role in supporting the health and wellbeing of their local communities, will be inspired to apply.'

Lindy Kelly, Executive Director at Groundwork London, said: 'Groundwork London are hugely excited to launch the Community Ideas Grants and to relaunch Walking and Cycling Grants London, building on all the fantastic walking and cycling projects that have been taking place since 2015.

'With these new Community Ideas Grants we can support even more community organisations to take part that may not have received grant funding previously, giving them lots of help setting up their projects, and so empowering communities more than ever before. We can't wait to get started working with groups all across our fantastic city.'

Anna Scott, from Ark Burlington Danes Primary Academy PTA, said: 'Through funding from Walking and Cycling Grants London we have set up the Burlington Danes Family Cycle Library which helps get parents and children from our school and the local community cycling.

'Over half of our families never cycle to school, primarily citing concerns about road safety and lack of access to a bicycle. To overcome these barriers, we lend adult and children's bikes, seats and trailers for free for half a term and provide one-to-one cycle training for adults at no cost.

'So far, 46 parents and children have benefited, and we've had lots of positive feedback as parents and children discover the wide-ranging benefits of cycling.'

To date the scheme has helped more than 41,000 people in 33 boroughs to get more out of walking and cycling through activities such as rides for children with disabilities, learning to cycle or repair bikes, or walks for people suffering from ill health or isolation.

Last year, 68 groups were awarded funding through the scheme and will receive £593,369 of joint funding over three years.

Projects to be awarded funding last year included a project in Lambeth to tackle social isolation and mental health issues among young black, Asian and minority ethnic men through cycling, and a project to give young and teenage girls in east London the opportunity to develop a passion for cycling and BMX.

Other projects included a group in Newham who developed two new social walks after the morning school drop off, to help increase the wellbeing of pre-and post-natal women who may have young children, and a project in Ealing to create local health walks to combat social isolation.

Since May 2020, more than 100km of new or upgraded cycle lanes have been built or are under construction, along with more than 22,500 square metres of extra pavement space reallocated for people walking.

The measures mean people are increasingly using bikes to get around their local area and for exercise, with recent TfL data showing cycling has increased by 22% in outer London compared to spring 2019, with a seven per cent rise in inner London.

More than 300 schools across London have TfL-funded School Streets measures to restrict cars at pick up and drop off times. There are also more than 100 low-traffic neighbourhoods schemes in place in the capital, which are making it safer and easier for people to walk and cycling on local roads.

Notes to editors

About the London Marathon Charitable Trust 

  • The London Marathon Charitable Trust is celebrating its 40th Anniversary, and since its founding in 1981, has awarded grants totaling more than £93 million to 1,490+ organisations in London and across the UK
  • The Trust's vision is a society in which everyone is physically active, contributing to their health and wellbeing. It works towards this by enabling people to become and remain physically active regardless of age, gender, ability, race or background, and by challenging inequality of access to physical activity
  • In December 2019, The Trust awarded Transport for London (TfL) a grant of £2 million towards the next phase of the Walking and Cycling Grants London (WCGL) programme, which shares The Trust's ambition of inspiring activity by removing barriers to walking and cycling. The funding from The Trust will contribute to TfL's WCGL programme budget until 2024, aiming to fund a minimum of 300 new walking and cycling projects and supporting a minimum of 70,000 people to become more active through walking and cycling over the next five years
  • In the first year of The Trust's partnership, 68 community and non-profit projects were awarded funding to improve access to walking and cycling
Channel website: https://tfl.gov.uk/

Original article link: https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2021/july/applications-open-for-funding-to-make-walking-and-cycling-more-accessible-to-all

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