Plymouth’s Waterfront has been granted £670,400 via the first round of the Coastal Communities Fund.
A range of ideas have been mooted to improve the area and make the quayside a destination in its own right, but cycling will be a key beneficiary of the funding and will be core to the renovations.
Building on what the council says is Plymouth’s growing reputation as a bike-friendly city, there will be space for cycle hubs for bike hire in Commercial Wharf and the Royal William Yard. The cycle hire business will start setting up in the coming months and will be completed by the end of 2014. The council will shortly invite interest from businesses or individuals looking to run the cycle hire facility.
Cycle paths and racks will be improved too along the waterfront to link the Barbican, the Hoe, Tinside Pool, Millbay and Royal William Yard.
"Plymouth has natural assets that most cities would kill to have," said council leader Tudor Evans. "This bid plans to bring to life areas on the waterfront that have been too quiet for too long. Commercial Wharf was once a bustling location – it will be again.
"I’m also really excited about the opportunities for cycling tourists. Knowing how popular cycling trails such as the Tarka are, this is a great chance for us to attract families as well as couples and individuals to get on their bikes. Not only will they have fun, they get to see an exceptional city and for the softies – there will be plenty of places to stop off and eat and drink."
The Council submitted the bid, but it will be delivered in partnership with Destination Plymouth, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and Plymouth City Centre Company.
Destination Plymouth chair Duncan Currall commented: "We needed to show how Plymouth would use funding to make better use of our physical, natural, social, economic and cultural assets to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs.
"This bid encapsulates all of those and also includes opportunities for training as well creating jobs."
Chairman of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Chris Arscott added: "We are very pleased that during our first year working in partnership with Plymouth City Council we have secured this new investment for the city. It’s vital we grow our tourism economy and increased numbers of visitors will result in increased jobs and trade for our businesses."