Two community groups in Crewe have been given cash grants to promote cycling.
Community Recycle Cycles and Christian Concern will share equally almost £20,000 to encourage local people to get on their bikes.
The funding will also help the charities to boost skills and training in the town – with Christian Concern hoping to recruit a cycle maintenance trainee at its base at the St Paul’s Centre, in Hightown.
The grants have been awarded by Travel Cheshire, a Cheshire East Council scheme funded by the Department of Transport, which was set up last year to promote walking, cycling and other forms of ‘active travel’.
Christian Concern was set up in 1987 and collects unwanted bikes and furniture from households across the town. Items are refurbished and sold to raise funds to help the homeless and others facing hardship or difficulties.
Residents can also access low cost bike maintenance – delivered by a trained mechanic and a team of volunteers.
The funding from Travel Cheshire will help trainees to undertake a cycle maintenance programme, while students from local after school clubs will be given the chance to learn the basics of bike repair on a series of courses.
Community Recycle Cycles is a community interest company with a volunteer-run, not-for-profit bike shop, on Coronation Crescent in Crewe. It offers low-cost bikes and repairs to the local community.
It will use the funding to run free ‘Dr Bike’ check-ups to ensure cyclists’ bikes are safe and roadworthy.
The grants scheme is funded by the Department of Transport’s sustainable travel transition year (STTY) initiative, which aims to widen access to skills, training and employment opportunities by promoting walking, cycling and public transport use.
The project has also seen the creation of a new website – travelcheshire.co.uk – to help widen people’s travel options and encourage more active forms of transport.
Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Reducing congestion on our roads, helping people get fit and active and improving the environment are top priorities for the council.
With the excellent Travel Cheshire project we’re delivering on all three. We’re keen to promote cycling in all its forms in Cheshire East – whether people want to ride to the shops or work, ride purely for fun or competitively.
“By supporting these two local community-based organisations in Crewe we hope to encourage more people to discover the joys of cycling.”