Thirteen organisations across West Yorkshire are to receive a total of more than £640,000 to support more people in their communities to walk and cycle, thanks to funding from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin announced the funding recipients at a community celebration event yesterday, Thursday 24th November.
Each group will receive up to £50,000 to become a community walking and cycling hub, which will be one-stop-shops for people to access everything they need to walk and cycle, including advice and support on routes, equipment, training and group activities.
Brabin said: “Making it easier to walk and cycle is part of the solution to so many challenges we face – from saving people money, tackling congestion and the climate challenge, to improving our health and wellbeing.
“I’m delighted to support these important organisations to take their services to the next level so that more people can reap the benefits of walking and cycling.”
Experience Community is a not-for-profit organisation that helps disabled people access cycling. It will receive grant funding to start a new mobile hub, as well as developing its base in Leeds. Its work will mean people across West Yorkshire will have better access to specialist equipment and expert advice.
Craig Grimes, managing director of Experience Community CIC, said: “Accessing public transport and active travel options for disabled people can be difficult, which means that many people opt to use their own private vehicles instead.
“This funding will enable us to provide short-term home loans of equipment so that people can decide which equipment is most useful for them in their day-to-day lives.
“Combining these services with ways of providing 0% interest financing and a long-term hire scheme will ensure that more of this equipment is affordable for more people, making West Yorkshire a more inclusive place to live and work for all.”
Since 2017, the Combined Authority has awarded more than £500,000 to organisations across West Yorkshire to deliver grassroots initiatives aimed at helping people overcome barriers to walking and cycling.
Paula Appleton, director of Evergreen Active, said: “Our organisation received Combined Authority funding in 2021 which enabled us to create new walking groups in the Ossett & Horbury areas of Wakefield.
“We held 54 separate sessions – at three different times and locations and reached 44 individuals. Overall, we had over 300 people attending which was great.
“Several of the people that joined via the funding have now formed such close new friendships that they now attend a local quiz night, afternoon teas and even race meets together.”
Organisations will be invited to bid for further community grant funding in early 2023.