Scotland, which with its largest city Glasgow will host the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023, is to benefit from an £8 million fund to improve cycling facilities across the country.
The Scottish Government and the country’s national agency for sport, sportscotland, launched the national Cycling Facilities Fund on 20 October. The £8 million will be used to capitalise on the upsurge of interest in cycling by developing a network of accessible, inclusive and inspiring facilities that encourage people of all ages to ride bikes.
It will also deliver a tangible benefit which is part of the wider policy objectives driving the UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland in August 2023. This historic and innovative event will bring together 13 UCI World Championships for different cycling disciplines into one mega event for the first time in history. But crowning new UCI World Champions will not be the only celebration – the event will also highlight the unique power of the bike and all it can bring to our everyday lives, whether it’s physical and mental health benefits, easing congestion on the road to help the environment, or simply making it easier for people to get around. Underpinned by four key policy drivers - participation, transport, tourism and economy - the Championships will be a catalyst for behavioural change across Scotland moving forward.
The Cycling Facilities Fund creates an opportunity to deliver a lasting impact from the Championships by inspiring a new generation of cyclists. This is envisaged by establishing a network of accessible community facilities to develop the sport at every level.
The fund, which is open to clubs, education establishments, local authorities or leisure trusts, charitable organisations, community sport hubs and community organisations, has been made possible through a £4 million commitment of Capital funding from Scottish Government and £4 million of National Lottery funding from sportscotland. This significant investment in infrastructure will be delivered over the next two years through a partnership between Scottish Cycling and sportscotland.
The ambition is for the Cycling Facilities Fund to provide accessible community and club facilities that inspire new and existing cyclists to make cycling a sport for life. The Cycling Facilities Fund aims to support cycling projects from across Scotland and welcomes proposals from all areas.
Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “Thanks to this new fund we have a unique opportunity to harness the growing interest in cycling and to promote health and wellbeing, taking a significant step towards our vision of an active Scotland where everyone sees sport as a way of life. Accessible community facilities across Scotland will help us achieve this vision and are only possible thanks to the continued support of a range of partners including the Scottish Government, Scottish Cycling, the National Lottery and of course National Lottery players.”
Working closely with Scottish Cycling, sportscotland has developed clear guidance to identify priorities that will ensure projects can make a lasting impact. Projects can bid for awards of up to £100,000 for smaller ‘inspire’ projects and up to £500,000 for Club and Hub projects.
The three key objectives for the fund are to:
- Inspire the nation to cycle by developing accessible, inclusive and inspiring facilities
- Grow and develop club and community cycling through multi-discipline hubs with safe coaching and skills development areas; and
- To develop the events infrastructure by building or upgrading facilities capable of hosting local and regional events.
Craig Burn Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling said: “The announcement is hugely significant and reinforces our shared ambition and commitment to ensure the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships make a lasting impact and will benefit local communities and clubs across Scotland. Dedicated cycling facilities provide safe, traffic-free environments for any cyclist of any ability to participate, train, compete and - most importantly - have fun whilst riding a bike.”