Mark Adair

£20,000 grant launched to support local businesses’ sustainability efforts

Businesses registered in Northumberland can now apply for a grant aimed at helping them become more walking and cycling friendly to attract more visitors and support staff.

The £20,000 Northumberland Walking and Cycling Capability Fund enables businesses to apply for up to £1,000 to support their sustainability and staff wellbeing initiatives. The grant can be used for the likes of cycle maintenance, storage, and lockers.

Applications for the grant - funded and delivered in partnership with Northumberland County Council’s Big Northumberland Gear Change and Visit Northumberland - are now open and will close on Tuesday, 31st May.

Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, Cabinet member for Business with Northumberland County Council, said: “We’re very aware that there are many businesses which have existing sustainable travel schemes for staff or want to bolster their offering to visitors and those who enjoy exploring the county on foot or bike.

“We are pleased to be able to launch this new grant today which will enable businesses to put the necessary facilities in place to encourage staff to take up more sustainable routes to work as well as welcome more walkers and cyclists.”

Edward Clark, Principal Transport Officer at the County Council, explains: “Encouraging sustainable travel with businesses and visitors is vital.

“As part of our Big Northumberland Gear Change initiative which aims to get more people using sustainable methods of transport such as walking and cycling, we recognise the important role businesses play in helping to improve infrastructure in Northumberland.

“I’d like to encourage all businesses from right across the county to apply whether you would like to bolster your cycle storage, install CCTV or lockers or invest in cycle maintenance and repair equipment.

“In addition to this grant, we recently held a public consultation on our walking and cycling plan and are currently reviewing what people have suggested in terms of improving the infrastructure and hope to implement change as soon as possible.”

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