Community Grants launch to support walking and cycling projects for local people and groups

Not-for-profit groups and organisations in West Yorkshire can apply for £5k funding to support people in their community adopt more walking and cycling into their everyday lives.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is supporting third-sector organisations to help people to cycle and walk more, through a fresh round of small grants of up to £5,000. 

The grants can be used for any scheme or project aimed at helping and encouraging people to incorporate more walking, scooting or running into their daily lives, or to help people to start or continue cycling.

This may be to improve people’s health and wellbeing, support access to employment and training opportunities, boost people’s social interactions or to achieve one of the many other benefits that cycling and walking can bring to individuals and families.

Delivered through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, the grants will involve a formal application process, with applications opening from Friday 19 February 2021 and closing at midnight on Friday 19 March 2021.

This is the fourth round of Community Grants funding delivered by CityConnect. Since 2018 the programme has awarded 35 organisations across West Yorkshire a total of more than £225,000 to deliver grassroots initiatives aimed at supporting cycling or walking. 

Activities to inspire

Grants can be spent on a wide range of items or activities. Previous projects have ranged from pool bike and bike loan schemes, led rides and walks for people who are socially isolated, free training to increase people’s confidence on two wheels, and route planning and waymarking around local areas.

In Kirklees, CityConnect grants supported Streetbikes, an all-inclusive cycling focussed charity, to offer loan bikes and repairs and servicing to essential workers needing to travel through the coronavirus pandemic.

In Bradford, Hop On Bike offered learn to ride, confidence building and commuter cycle training to people from Lister Park, along with training people to carry out repairs and maintenance on their own bikes.

And in Leeds, St Luke Cares skilled up local volunteers to refurbish more than 100 unused bikes and then get them to people who needed them. 

Cllr Kim Groves, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee Chair said:

“We’re delighted to once again be able to offer these small grants to groups and organisations at the heart of our local communities.

We know what a hugely beneficial impact increased levels of walking and cycling can have on individuals and the wider community; improving people’s health and wellbeing, reducing congestion and air pollution and giving people a sense of freedom over the journeys they make and the opportunities available to them.

“Community Grants funding has supported some really innovative and inspiring schemes across our region and we’re looking forward to seeing what projects we can help in 2021.

"We want people and communities right across West Yorkshire to benefit from this scheme, so I’d encourage even the smallest or newest initiatives to apply.”

The Community Grants scheme is being supported by the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund, introduced in 2020 as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In November 2020, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority successfully bid for £10.053 million from the second round of the Active Travel Fund. Added to the £2.5 million secured under the round 1 of the Fund, this brings the total awarded to £12.5 million.