The funding will be used to create a new bikeability training area to aid youngsters to learn to cycle on-road safely, as well as a learn to ride track for off-road learning. A separate adventure trail has already been built for adventurous and experienced cyclists.
The tracks will provide a structured approach to deliver life-long cycling skills for the members of the parish and the surrounding villages, increasing the independence and confidence of young people and encouraging lapsed riders to return to cycling.
The project has been funded after a successful application to the HS2 Community and Environment Fund. The two Funds, CEF and BLEF, with a combined total of £40 million, are available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Britain’s new high speed railway between London and the West Midlands. The Parish Council has also received funding from British Cycling and South Northamptonshire Council in order to complete the project.
This is the second successful application from Boddington Parish Council to the Funds. In 2018, they also received £75,000 for a new community play area. To date, nearly £8 million has been awarded from the Funds across 130 projects near the HS2 route. In Northamptonshire, 13 projects have benefitted, sharing £599,276 between them. The projects range from rebuilding the clubhouse at Brackley FC to a recently announced project funding a minibus service for residents in the village of Greatworth.
Speaking about the award, Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 Funds said:
“It is great that Boddington Parish Council have been successful in their second application to the Community and Environment Fund, and this time have created a fantastic cycling facility for local young people in the area.”
“The Funds are available to support local communities and businesses that are disrupted by the construction of HS2 and I encourage other organisations near to the line of route to apply and gain the tangible benefits of these Funds.”
Joe Street Vice Chairman of Boddington Parish Council said:
“The new facility is now almost complete although some lads couldn’t wait and were seen doing time trials on finished sections before the grand opening.
“The learn to ride and challenge tracks are superb facilities to introduce youngsters from age 2+ to cycling and in particularly to learn bike handling skills. There is nothing else like it in the region and is an ideal way to access traffic free cycling . Those who are young at heart have also been seen trying the challenge tracks. Boddington Parish are grateful to the all sponsors for this opportunity to embrace with the Government's cycling initiatives.”
As construction of HS2 gets underway, applications for the funds are still being welcomed. The Funds for Phase One, independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects. Community and business groups in Staffordshire will also be eligible to apply for a share of the £5million funding announced for Phase 2a of the HS2 route, between the West Midlands and Crewe, when the funding is available.
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