Grant applications open for community groups to further boost walking and cycling levels
- More than £500,000 is available to fund at least 60 walking and cycling and community ideas grants to increase participation in walking and cycling among traditionally underrepresented groups
- New translations of funding guidance are available in BSL, easy read and in Romanian, Polish, Bengali, Spanish and Portuguese
- Enabling more people from all backgrounds to walk and cycle is vital to creating a healthier, more sustainable transport network
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that applications are open for more than £500,000 of grants for community and not-for-profit groups that encourage people to walk and cycle. Walking and Cycling Grants London aims to enable more people to walk and cycle, addressing the barriers that prevent people from getting active and helping to make London a more sustainable, inclusive, and healthy city. All projects give participants the chance to connect with their local communities, learn new skills, get active and improve their physical and mental health.
Funded by TfL, in partnership with The London Marathon Foundation, and administered by Groundwork London, the programme offers two types of grants for applicants. Walking and Cycling Grants can provide up to £10,000 over three years to successful applicants that will help kickstart smaller projects throughout London. Applicants will be considered on the potential of their idea to benefit the local community and boost walking and cycling levels, particularly among communities who do not tend to walk or cycle.
Applications for Community Ideas Grants are also open to help kickstart smaller projects across London that are based previous successes in other communities. Potential applicants to the scheme will be able to browse successful former projects on the Community Ideas Hub, and then apply for funding of £5,000 for a single year to replicate these in their local community.
Applicants of both grants will be provided help and support throughout the application process and further support will be given to successful groups during delivery of 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 until 17:00 on 1 September 2023. Successful applicants are set to be announced in November 2023. Applicants can visit wcgl.london to find out more about the programme or contact the programme at email@example.com. This year, TfL has also translated the guidance documents for the programme into Romanian, Polish, Bengali, Spanish and Portuguese as well as British Sign Language (BSL) and an easy read version. This will ensure that as many groups as possible can access the guidance and apply to the scheme.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said:
“The Mayor and I want Londoners from all walks of life to feel enabled to walk and cycle, so I’m delighted that even more community groups will now benefit from our walking and cycling grants to boost active travel in underrepresented groups.
“By showing that walking and cycling are convenient, easy and fun ways to get around, we can help improve the health and quality of life of more Londoners, as well as reduce toxic air pollution and tackle the climate crisis. Local community organisations have a key role to play in supporting the Mayor’s aim to continue building a greener, more sustainable London 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 and more sustainable city for all. We’ve seen more than 68,000 participants benefit from our Walking and Cycling Grants funding since 2016 and are excited to see even more Londoners of all ages and backgrounds get active with our funding scheme.”
Catherine Anderson, Executive Director of the London Marathon Foundation, said:
“Our mission at the London Marathon Foundation is to inspire activity, particularly for marginalised communities who may not have the same access to physical activity as others.
“Together with Transport for London, we’ve been able to create opportunities for thousands of people from different communities across London to walk and cycle – supporting their physical and mental wellbeing as well as the environment by travelling more sustainably. We look forward to funding more community groups through Walking and Cycling Grants London and helping many more people to lead active and healthy lives.”
Martin Petry, Grants Manager at Groundwork London said:
“Groundwork London is thrilled to partner with TfL and London Marathon Foundation on Walking and Cycling Grants London for the eighth year. The fund has enabled tens of thousands of Londoners to walk and cycle more regularly and safely, and we look forward to supporting projects in 2023/24 to introduce the benefits of walking and cycling to even more people across the capital.”
To date the scheme has helped more than 68,000 people in 33 London boroughs to benefit from walking and cycling, with activities including rides for children with disabilities, learning to cycle or repair bikes, or walks for people suffering from ill health or isolation. Last year, 87 new projects were awarded funding through the scheme bringing the total number of projects supported since 2016 to 307.
Those awarded funding last year included a project for residents across Brent and Harrow, Carib & Co Brunch, aimed at making walking and cycling easier and more accessible to black and ethnic minority adults aged 18-45 with disabilities such as dyslexia to show the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Other projects included L’Arche in Lambeth who developed 10 walking and cycling sessions to encourage people with learning disabilities or additional needs to stay active. When TfL surveyed participants who took part in the projects in 2021/2022, 89 per cent felt more positive about cycling and 94 per cent felt more positive about walking.
Jade Weir-Reid, Director of Carib and Co Brunch, said:
“Without the support of the Walking and Cycling Grants London, Carib & Co Brunch would not have been able to get involved in this work to the same level; it gave more credibility to the work and change we were making within our community.”
Joseph Beakhouse, Spirituality and Community Engagement Coordinator at L’Arche London said:
“At L’Arche London we love the sense of wellbeing and the new friends we’re making locally through our project ‘Getting Out There – Better Together’.
“Around 80 people attended our “Walking Together” event, gathering in our own green oasis at Gothic Lodge to eat together, natter and dance to the joyful music.
“We’ll connect with our new friends and turn these one-off encounters into enduring relationship with wellbeing at their heart. It’s wonderful to celebrate what those we may label ‘less able’ are really able to be.”
TfL also recently launched a major new Cycling Action Plan which set out its commitment to further boost cycling numbers across the capital and ensure that people cycling become more representative of London’s diverse communities. The past two decades have seen huge growth in cycling in the capital, with a 155 per cent increase in the number of daily cycle journeys since 2000. This includes a 13 per cent increase in daily cycle journeys between 2019 and 2022, despite Londoners making fewer trips across all transport modes in 2022 than in 2019.
TfL and London boroughs have more than tripled the size of the London-wide strategic cycle network, from 90km in 2016 to more than 340km in 2023, meaning that more than one in five Londoners now live near the Cycleway network.