Funding pot unveiled to encourage active communities

4 February 2019

Community groups are being offered a chance to apply for funding for projects which encourage residents to get out and about walking and cycling more.

Waltham Forest Council’s Enjoy Waltham Forest programme is launching a £20,000 fund today (Monday 4 February) for local community projects which will encourage residents to be more active, build stronger communities and promote sustainable transport options.

Organisations can bid for up to £2,500 of funding from the Community Walking and Cycling Fund to deliver projects with residents in Waltham Forest over this spring and summer.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “As a council we have been encouraging our residents to be more active, but we know  people respond better and more positively to seeing  their friends, family members and colleagues walking or cycling. This is why we’re asking local groups to get on board to support more of our residents to discover the enjoyment and benefits of a more active and healthier lifestyle.

“We hope that these projects will not only help us achieve our aims of making sustainable transport an attractive option for our residents when going out and about, but also help to tackle social isolation and loneliness and some of the serious health problems Londoners face due to inactivity and poor air quality.

“We know there are many groups out there already trying to make a difference. This fund could help them and others succeed in delivering their plans for this summer.”

The fund, which could see more community led guided walks or rides established in the borough or bike maintenance classes funded for various community groups, is being supported by the Enjoy Waltham Forest programme. This programme has delivered major infrastructure changes in the borough to encourage more active travel including the construction of more than 22km of segregated cycle lanes built along main roads, as well as improvements to more than 100 pedestrian crossings, the introduction of 15 new pocket parks, better cycling parking infrastructure and more than 660 new trees planted.

Last year an independent report by academics from King’s College London showed that these infrastructure improvements have helped to reduce air pollution in the borough and resulted in an increased life expectancy among children of at least six weeks, and that additional physical activity - through regular walking and cycling - was also helping to improve health outcomes of our residents. This fund is expected to help build on this success.

Applications for the fund open today (Monday 4 February) and close at 5pm on Friday 15 March. Groups applying are being asked to provide a project plan as part of their bid and details of how they will measure their project’s outcomes.

More details about applying for the Community Walking and Cycling Fund can be found here.

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