North Yorkshire residents invited to create their own cycling legacy

Groups in North Yorkshire can get involved in creating their own cycle legacies, as one of the world’s top bike events heads to the county.

The Scarborough to Whitby Cinder Track cycle way

North Yorkshire County Council is encouraging local organisations to apply for grants for initiatives which will widen participation in cycling, as a result of Yorkshire hosting the UCI Road World Championships in September.

The Places to Ride Fund is designed to provide communities with a lasting legacy from the event, which begins in Yorkshire on September 22, preceded for the first time by the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International on Saturday, September 21.

The nine-day event will involve teams from approximately 90 countries.

The Places to Ride Fund has earmarked more than £2m of its £15m funding for small grants to cover costs such as cycling kit and equipment, cycle storage solutions, or improvements to existing facilities.

The funding aims to support projects or schemes that widen participation in cycling; such as creating learn-to-ride areas to encourage new riders, buying adapted bikes or lighting facilities so opening hours increase.

The programme is being delivered over the next three years through a partnership between British Cycling, Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

North Yorkshire County Council is encouraging local groups to apply and help cement a lasting legacy for the event in the county. The county already funds a range of initiatives to encourage cycling among school students and to encourage sustainable travel in the county.

Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for Highways, said: “We want to encourage people from all backgrounds to get involved with cycling and to cement the legacy of the road world championships here in North Yorkshire.

“Cycling in all its forms is a fantastic activity for people of all ages and abilities; it can be a great way for families to spend time together, it is an environmentally and financially sustainable mode of transport and improves fitness and mental health and wellbeing.

“There will be many projects in the county which could benefit from this extra funding and help more people see the benefits to their health and wellbeing which cycling can bring.”

Andy Farr, Head of Facility and Investment at British Cycling said: “We’ve had some fantastic bids, big and small, since opening the Places to Ride legacy fund in November 2018, and we are actively encouraging organisations who require smaller sums of money – whether that be for cycling kit and equipment, cycle storage solutions or even improvements to existing facilities like lighting and fencing – to apply for a small-scale grant.

“Ultimately, this legacy funding will encourage more people from a variety of backgrounds – regardless of gender, age, ability or ethnicity – to engage with cycling in all its forms and across all disciplines of cycling.”

Applicants can request from £1,000 to £50,000 and will need to provide some partnership funding.

Charles Johnston, Sport England Director of Property, continued: “Cycling is one of the most popular activities for people in England, but we know that many people are stopped from getting on their bikes because of a lack of opportunity, equipment or traffic-free routes.

“If you’re a woman, disabled or from an ethnic minority background you’re less likely to ride, and we want to help change that.”

Larger scale, new build projects will also be funded as part of the Places to Ride programme and applications for both small and large-scale grants are being accepted by British Cycling until January 2021.

For more information, or to apply, visit; www.britishcycling.org.uk/placestoride.

This story was published 30 August 2019