Grants to help West Yorkshire community organisations support more people cycling to work as lockdown eases

Not-for-profit organisations invited to bid for grants of up to £5,000

8 July 2020

Not-for-profit organisations across West Yorkshire are being invited to bid for grants of up to £5,000 to support people in their communities to cycle to work.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s community grants scheme, part of its CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike and on foot, is part of a package of emergency measures to help people move around the region safely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.* 

The community grants are intended to enable more people to make everyday journeys by bike, increasing capacity on public transport and enabling people to move around in ways which do not lead to damaging levels of congestion on our roads.

Projects could include bike loans and donations, low-cost hire schemes, services and repairs to make people’s bikes roadworthy, maintenance and cycle skills training, subsidised discounts on equipment, and advice clinics on a range of topics such as route planning.    

Grants could also be used to help train paid staff and volunteers so they can continue to provide longer-term support to people in their communities.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said:

“Through our CityConnect programme, we have invested significantly to enable more people to travel by bike and on foot, and encouraging others to consider cycling and walking is even more important in helping us address the transport challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Over the last few months, the region’s voluntary sector has played a significant role in supporting people to commute by bike and organisations we already work with are telling us that demand is growing as more people return to work.

Cllr Manisha Kaushik, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said:

“Working with organisations already at the heart of our communities to provide tailored support, helping people overcome barriers to travelling by bike is absolutely vital.”

This work builds on what’s already been achieved through two previous rounds of the grant scheme, through which 22 organisations were awarded a total of more than £170,000 to deliver grassroots initiatives enabling people living and working in their community to access work, school or training opportunities by cycling or walking.

Each project focused on providing local solutions to local barriers, with initiatives ranging from pool bikes and bike loans to led cycles and walks, increasing people’s confidence on two wheels, route planning, building employment skills through activities such as bike maintenance, and connecting people with employers through job fairs and work clubs.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 22 July. 

*This work includes short and longer-term proposals, which have been submitted to Government to access £12.5 million funding for West Yorkshire through the Emergency Active Travel Fund and an online map for residents to highlight areas where improvements are needed to help more people travel by bike or on foot.