Island businesses have received a sustainable transport funding boost from the Isle of Wight Council.
The up to £10,000 award for projects follows the launch of the Sustainable Transport Innovation Grant Fund in July 2018, when the council put out the call for organisations to submit applications for funding to deliver their own innovative sustainable transport projects.
The successful applicants will introduce a range of initiatives, including a new cycle hire operation and a ‘Slow Travel’ Guide.
Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, Councillor Ian Ward (Sandown South), said: “I would like to congratulate the funding winners and look forward to seeing how these exciting projects use the grant to make their ideas a reality and at the same time, encourage residents and visitors to drive less, see more on our beautiful Island.”
The winners of this year’s grant are:
This project will explore opportunities for using the extensive Rights of Way network on the Island to better connect communities, and provide access to education and employment. With input from landowners and user groups, the project will survey the Islands footpath network to identify which path may – in the future – be able to accommodate a wider range of users.
Tim Thorne, CycleWight chair, said: “CycleWight is very happy to have received this award. It will give us the opportunity to identify footpaths, which could be enhanced in the future, to increase access for a wider range of people.”
This Island firm already runs a welcoming bike hire business from Lower Hyde and this project will create a new pop-up bike hire hub based at the Shanklin Esplanade, hoping to tap into a growing market of new and novice cyclists.The funding will help promote short, easy, flat rides along the revetment to Sandown Pier and back, using part of the Red Squirrel Trail. It will also link up with local businesses along the route, providing discounts and offers to customers.
Kevan Ansell, Routefifty7 company director, said: “There is a fantastic opportunity to use the safe environment of the revetment from Shanklin to Sandown to encourage new cyclists. Being awarded this grant we are now able to open the Isle of Wight’s first Pop-Up Bike Hire on Shanklin Esplanade encouraging new riders to ‘Bike the Bay’.
“We believe our pop-up will also reinvigorate a neglected part of Shanklin, raise the profile of the bay area and impact revenue coming in to the area. We are absolutely thrilled that this grant has enabled us to set up this innovative pop-up which is due to launch on Monday (October 22).”
Visit Isle of Wight
This project will create seven route itineraries for Island exploration, focusing on the popular concept of Slow Travel. The aim is to bring together information about walking, cycling, off the beaten track, landscape, wildlife, Island food, attractions and accommodation in one, digital home.
Abi Fox, brand manager at Visit Isle of Wight, said: “We are delighted to have won funding for a digital slow travel guide to the Isle of Wight. We look forward to producing itineraries for visitors that will encourage them to visit the Island sustainably and to take time to discover authentic Isle of Wight experiences.”
This project will create a consumer facing online journey planner, which will include all the available options for travelling on and around the Island. The journey planner will contribute to an evidence base of travel data which will enable policy makers to better understand the type and frequency of journey being made on the Island.
All the projects are being supported by the Isle of Wight Council’s Access Fund for Sustainable Travel programme, using funding which was secured competitively from the Department for Transport to deliver a wider programme of sustainable transport interventions being delivered through to April 2020. All successful grant applicants will also provide 100 per cent match funding toward the implementation of their projects.