· Nine community and club cycling projects in Scotland will receive investment from the Cycling Facilities Fund
· Over £1.5million being invested in the first round of projects
· The fund will deliver a tangible benefit from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships - Glasgow & Scotland by celebratingthe unique power of the bike and all it can bring to our everyday lives
Projects from the Borders to the Highlands will share £1,554,633 to develop accessible, inclusive and inspiring facilities.
The new cycle circuit in Linlithgow will be a dedicated, safe training facility providing opportunities for participation at all levels, encouraging more women and girls into the sport, and meeting the huge demand that already exists in the local area. The track will be accessible meaning that people with disabilities or additional support needs can also take part, promoting increased physical activity and inclusion within the community. It will also provide a competition venue to attract cycling events to West Lothian.
Meanwhile the pump track at Balbardie in Bathgate will give cyclists of all ages and abilities the opportunity to hone their skills and try out a different form of cycling in a safe environment.
Welcoming the investment,Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said:
"This is most welcome news and will bring a significant boost in helping to further increase opportunities to engage in outdoor activity in West Lothian.
"The West Lothian Cycle Circuit will be of great benefit not only to local people in the Linlithgow area, but for sports people from far and wide. This facility will support partners across the sporting system to build on a record increase in the number of people participating in cycling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Balbardie pump track in Bathgate will add to a number of well-used pump tracks in place across West Lothian. This will have a similar effect in encouraging the local community to get on their bikes, enjoy a different style of cycling than they might normally be used to while improving their off-road skills too."
Fraser Falconer, Linlithgow Community Development Trust's Chair added:
"The new facilities being built will represent a tremendous achievement for our community, creating a wonderful place to nurture a love of cycling for people of all ages and inclusive for all. After years of hard work from local volunteers and supporters, the recognition by sportscotland and West Lothian Council gives great inspiration to us as we link the delivery of the cycle circuit to active travel, healthy living, social inclusion and improving health and well-being."
Sports Minister Maree Todd said:
"I am delighted to see this investment in community and club cycling projects across Scotland which will hopefully encourage more people to take up cycling for the benefits to their physical, mental and social health. I want us to build on the enthusiasm for cycling this year and see even more people choosing to cycle for recreation and active travel.
"Scotland hosting the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships gives us a great opportunity to use the power of the bike to help meet our transport, health and environmental aims, as well as supporting the events industry through its recovery.
"This funding will support that opportunity by developing accessible community facilities, helping with our ambitions to support participation across all groups, tackle inequalities, and help more people lead active lives. As part of Scotland's response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen thousands of people embrace the benefits of cycling, and I hope that the excitement generated as we build up to this major event will encourage even more people to get active on their bikes".
With Scotland set to host the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, the ambition is for the Cycling Facilities Fund to provide accessible community and club facilities like the West Lothian Cycle Circuit and Balbardie Pump Track that inspire new and existing cyclists to make cycling a sport for life
Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said:
"There is a whole new generation of cyclists who have been inspired by the athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Projects like the ones being funded today will give cyclists of all abilities the opportunity to participate and progress in the sport, emulating their heroes, or simply having fun.
"We have been impressed by the ambition and commitment of applicants to the fund and look forward to working with them to make their projects a reality. Delivering this network of accessible, community facilities across Scotland is reliant on partnership working and we are fortunate to have the continued support of a range of partners including the Scottish Government, Scottish Cycling, the National Lottery, and the National Lottery players."
The national Cycling Facilities Fund was established to build on the growing interest in cycling by developing a network of accessible facilities to encourage people of all ages to ride bikes and enjoy the sport of cycling. It will also deliver a tangible benefit as part of the wider policy objectives driving the forthcoming 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, which will take place in Glasgow and Scotland.
There has been huge interest in the fund, which is open to clubs, education establishments, local authorities or leisure trusts, charitable organisations, community sport hubs and community organisations, demonstrating the real demand for community facilities of this kind. It has been made possible through a £4million commitment of Capital funding from Scottish Government and £4million of National Lottery funding from sportscotland. This significant investment in infrastructure is being delivered through a partnership between Scottish Cycling and sportscotland to ensure projects can have a lasting impact.
Nick Rennie, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling said:
"I'm absolutely delighted that we're able to unveil the first nine projects that have received support from the Cycling Facilities Fund - these are the first of many as we look to use the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships as a catalyst to get more people on bikes and involved in cycle sport across our cycling communities.
"Clubs are at the heart of everything we do, and they need accessible, fun and safe local facilities to operate from, so this is a welcome boost that will benefit the whole country, and help both current and new cyclists make the most of our wonderful sport."
In August 2023, Glasgow and Scotland will host the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. This historic and innovative event bring together 13 existing World Championship cycling disciplines into one mega event for the first time.
The Championships is more than just an event and will celebrate 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.[KM1]
The projects supported by this first round of investment are:
· West Lothian Cycle Circuit, West Lothian - 1Km Cycle Loop - £636,011
· Boat of Garten, Highland - New Pump Track - £100,000
· Gala Park, Falkirk - New Pump Track - £50,256
· Glenlivet, Moray - New 1km MTB trail - £12,933
· Ormiston, East Lothian - New Pump Track - £45,000
· Balbardie, West Lothian - New Pump Track - £45,433
· Kennoway, Fife - New Pump Track - £75,000
· Clyde Cycle Park Phase 2, South Lanarkshire - 1km Closed Loop Cycle Circuit - £550,000
· Inverness Royal Academy, Highland - Mountain Bike Skills Loop - £40,000