Financial support is being made available to community councils who want to promote cycling in their local communities.
Shift is a project funded by Transport Scotland and delivered by Cycling UK which aims to encourage more people to make journeys by bicycle in their local area.
Community Councils who are already running projects to encourage cycling or who are considering doing so can apply for a Shift grant of up to £800 to support their work.
The programme aims to increase the number of everyday bike rides in local areas and to teach people the skills they need to start or to return to cycling. Any organisation can apply for a Shift grant, and recipients can also benefit from continued training and support from Cycling UK.
Shift grants can be used for any community project connected to cycling, from bike maintenance sessions and cycling skills lessons to training volunteers or buying equipment for group rides in your local area.
Community Councils are ideally placed to promote the opportunities for cycling in their local area, and two have already successfully applied for Shift grants.
Aviemore Community Council was awarded a grant in September to hire a qualified ride leader to lead community bike rides in the town, designed to increase the confidence of local cyclists and to improve their knowledge of local cycling routes.
Meanwhile, Iochdar Community Council on South Uist was awarded a grant to help train local mechanics to service the community council’s existing e-bike, which they will soon be hiring out to members of the public. Previously, when bikes needed to be repaired they had to be taken by ferry to a mechanic in Stornoway, but this grant will help ensure that the Iochdar Community Council e-bikes are back on the streets quickly – and they hope that the presence of a bike mechanic on the island will encourage more people to give cycling a try.
If you are already working on a cycling project or have an idea which could promote and encourage more people to giving cycling a try, then a Shift grant could help you set the wheels in motion.
Find out more about the Shift project and how to apply for a grant on the Cycling UK website: https://www.cyclinguk.org/shift