THE UK’s largest cycling organisation has won £4.5million to help thousands more people take to two wheels.
The CTC’s Cycling Champions programme will promote cycling within social groups less likely to choose bikes for commuting or sport.
The grant, from the Big Lottery Fund, will meet a major slice of the total £6.3million cost of the project.
It will pay for 13 new development officers for four years, who will work with community groups and partner organisations across England.
The grant will also give each development area a special projects fund to help new cycling activities get underway.
CTC director Kevin Mayne said: “This funding will enable us to set up a complete development programme to support the people who champion cycling at a local level – the groups, leaders, trainers, charities, health trusts and local authorities who have great ideas for bringing cycling to their communities but need resources and support from someone like CTC to get started.
“Through them we will see thousands more people getting started on a more physically active lifestyle. The wider benefits of this experience will reach far beyond the 13 core locations.”
The Cycling Champions programme is part of a consortium of walking, cycling and health organisations being funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Well-being programme, which gives funding to support the development of healthier lifestyles.
The consortium is led by UK cycling charity Sustrans and includes British Cycling, CTC, Cycling England, Living Streets, London Cycling Campaign, the National Heart Forum, the National Obesity Forum, the Ramblers’ Association, Transport 2000 and Walk 21.
Among the projects being supported by the consortium is a cycle training programme at John Ball Primary School in Blackheath, London.
There, the London Cycling Campaign has set up a training course and organised cycling instruction for young students, including a night session to make them safer riders.
The CTC is the national organisation for all cyclists in the UK and Ireland, including children, families, and commuters. It has 70,000 members and affiliates and is the oldest and largest cycling body in the UK.