Ruth Maguire MSP has encouraged North Ayrshire businesses, secondary schools and community groups to apply for funding from Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly initiative.

A £1.7 million fund from the Scottish Government has been opened and open to applications from across the country in order to make cycling more accessible for people where they live, work and study.

Organisations can apply for a range of initiatives, such as installing cycle parking, upgrading shower facilities for the future or buying bikes and maintenance equipment.

Campuses can also register their interest to receive funding that will make it easier for students in colleges and universities to cycle.

The SNP MSP said: “During lockdown, many residents in North Ayrshire have taken up cycling as their primary mode of transport while commuting. This fund offers businesses in the area the opportunity to build on a greener recovery to the Covid-19 crisis.

“This is a great chance to create sustainable changes by reducing the number of cars on our roads at peak times, improve our air quality, protect our climate and benefit our own physical health and wellbeing.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:

“I’m pleased we can again support high-impact behavioural change initiatives such as Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly programme which is critical to encouraging greater participation in cycling across Scotland.

“We’ve already provided £30 million this year to help support temporary infrastructure for walking and cycling to better enable physical distancing and to keep people safe from traffic.

“The increases we have seen in the numbers of people walking and cycling across Scotland have been widely reported and are incredibly welcome. I’m determined that we will continue to support this sustainable shift in travel behaviour and continue to build an Active Nation.”

Workplaces can apply for between £5,000 and £25,000 which can be used to improve facilities, such as improving shower facilities or installing secure cycle racks, for staff returning to work after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Community groups can apply for between £2,500 and £20,000 which can be used to purchase bikes for the local community, maintenance materials and run cycling activities.

Secondary schools can apply for £4,000 which can be used to purchase bikes and maintenance equipment to encourage young people to get on their bikes.

To learn more about how the Scottish Government is working to build an Active Nation visit: www.transport.gov.scot/activenation 

As we ease from the current restrictions in how we work, socialise and access services, work is ongoing to provide a safe transport system to meet the needs of the country. The focus is to ensure Scotland can keep on moving, whilst continuing to supress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Read more here.