Organisations across every district in the region have been successful in bidding for community grants of up to £5000 made available by the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme. Organisations will provide a broad range of activities designed to help people walk and cycle more as part of their everyday lives.
Inclusive walking projects featured particularly strongly among the successful applications.
They include the Space @ Field Lane project will use its funding to coordinate a walking project for the Field Lane Estate in Rastrick, mapping out walking routes, creating community ambassadors to become walk leaders and co-ordinating a walking equipment bank for local people to use.
Danny Leech from The Space @ Field Lane said: “This project grant will be of great benefit to families and individuals that may be making their first tentative steps outside to socialise and improve their physical health and mental wellbeing.”
Overall 20 grants have been awarded in the first phase of funding, totalling £82,000, with 14 of the grants supporting projects that will enable people to get out more on foot, and reconnecting with the communities around them.
Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “It is key priority and election pledge of mine to ensure that as a region we focus squarely on accessibility, inclusivity, diversity and equality in all our funding decisions. The community grants scheme is a brilliant example of putting this vision into action.
“The 20 fantastic projects benefitting from this funding will support people in their communities who need it the most, using walking and cycling as a way to improve people’s experience of living in those communities, and to benefit their health and everyday lives.”
The 2021 round of community grants is supported by the Department for Transport's Active Travel Fund, introduced in 2020 as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority was awarded £12.5 million from the Active Travel Fund to deliver a programme of ambitious proposals to create more space for cycling and walking, while easing the pressure on public transport and relieving congestion.
In phase two of the community grants scheme the Combined Authority is hoping to fund a further 55 projects, with a total of £224,851 in funding. This second phase is dependent further funding from Department for Transport (DfT)