Applications are now open for more than £500,000 of grants for community and not-for-profit groups that encourage people to walk and cycle, TfL has announced.
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 TfL 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 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 on 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 10th September. Successful applicants will be announced in November and should begin their projects in December.
“I’m delighted that community groups can now benefit from our grants that are enabling Londoners of all backgrounds to walk and cycle,” said Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner. “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, added: “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.”
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.
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 7% 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.
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