West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme is launching a Community Grants scheme to support delivery of the Department for Transport’s Cycling and Walking to Work fund. The objectives are:
- To improve access to employment and apprenticeships / training opportunities by facilitating commuting by cycle or on foot.
- To promote cycling and walking to work among existing employees to improve public health and to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
- To move the unemployed into the labour market and to support underemployed people into better jobs by making new travel to work options available.
This funding is available for initiatives that encourage people to travel to work and training opportunities in active ways, such as cycling and walking. These initiatives complement both the existing, and the development of new cycling infrastructure in the region by giving people the skills and encouragement to use it.
The CityConnect programme has successfully supported and worked with community groups since it commenced in 2014. This has included consultation on the building of dedicated infrastructure, small grants to deliver projects encouraging people in some of the most deprived areas of the region to incorporate more walking into their daily lives, development of a diverse range of new community cycling clubs, including clubs for refugees, individuals with mental health problems and minority ethnic groups to give them the skills and encouragement needed to use cycling as their primary mode of transport.
This scheme is aimed at community or non-profit organisations, to provide grassroots support within communities across West Yorkshire, helping different groups access employment, training and apprenticeships through active means.
The total amount of grant funding available is £150,000. This is split into a nominal amount of £30,000 per West Yorkshire district and the maximum that one organisation can apply for is £10,000. Grants will be allocated via a competitive process whereby groups and organisations apply to receive funding and are awarded based on their alignment with fund objectives and ability to deliver the associated outcomes. The application window for the CityConnect Community Grants scheme opens on Monday 27 November for five weeks, closing on Sunday 31st December. Delivery of successful projects must be complete by 31 July 2017.
Why is CityConnect doing this?
Encouraging more West Yorkshire residents to walk or cycle for their everyday journeys has many benefits for the region including;
- Reduction of congestion in urban areas resulting in safer roads and lower carbon and nitrogen emissions.
- A healthier population relieving pressures on local health services.
- Improving inclusive growth in areas of high health, social and economic inequalities.
- Providing easier, affordable ways for people to travel to work and access new employment opportunities.
Supporting groups which already work within communities will enable us to use the knowledge and relationships which they already have provide targeted support to local communities, enabling the funding to have the greatest possible impact amongst the people who will benefit most from support with travelling to employment and training opportunities in an economical, healthy and sustainable way.
The Community Grants scheme is part of a suite of CityConnect engagement activities for the same audience, including schemes to encourage schools and businesses to make it easier for people to cycle to work or school, initiatives to make cycling equipment more accessible and affordable, and challenges to encourage people to cycle.
Find out more at: cyclecityconnect.co.uk/grants