The London Marathon Charitable Trust (LMCT) has provided a grant of £1 million to inspire active travel activity in Essex, according to Epping Forest Council.
The grant looks to expand the Find Your Active small grants programme, scale up Essex Pedal Power, and increase active travel opportunities in our schools and communities.
The RideLondon-Essex cycling event, which took place in May 2022 in conjunction with Essex County Council, has led to a new funding partnership between Active Essex and LMCT to invest £1 million to inspire more people to be active across the county.
As part of Active Essex’s successful Find Your Active campaign, LMCT is powering a programme to support Essex-wide projects that help residents lead active and healthy lives. Organisations, groups and instructors will be able to apply for funds of up to £3,000 to help residents find the activity that’s right for them, via the Active Essex.
In light of the growing cost-of-living crisis, funding is being offered to clubs and groups who can help get residents to be active in these challenging times and welcome organisations to inform the council of the support they need.
In order to capture the county’s love for cycling, The Active Essex Foundation will also be offering support to inclusive cycling initiatives along the RideLondon route, as well as skate jam opportunities for young people. Through events and cycling workshops, the Foundation will strengthen communities, enhancing local assets and providing opportunities for young people who are at risk, to try new activities and lead healthier, happier, more positive lives.
Schools will be encouraged to apply for the Essex School Active Travel Grant funding, to help promote healthier active travel methods for both pupils and families. Schools will be able to utilise the funding to start or expand their School Active Travel Plan and help overcome any existing barriers currently preventing communities to travel actively to school.
Building upon established active travel initiatives in Essex, the £1 million funding will also help to expand Essex Pedal Power; a community-based cycling initiative that has been piloted in Clacton and Jaywick Sands, where eligible residents can apply for a free bike, with the aim of making cycling more accessible for everyone. New Essex Pedal Power programmes are being planned for Colchester, Basildon and Harwich.
Catherine Anderson, Executive Director at The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said:
“It’s great to have Essex as a new core funding area for us, thanks to the partnership between RideLondon and Essex County Council, and to have the opportunity to inspire activity in communities right across the county.
“We’re proud to be working with Active Essex and The Active Essex Foundation to fund initiatives that will promote health and wellbeing – supporting more people to find an activity that’s right for them and building activity into their daily lives. We can’t wait to see the impact our partnership will have over the next year in helping communities across the county to be more active.”
Cllr Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport added: “t’s great to see how the inaugural event of RideLondon coming to Essex is now having a tremendous benefit on Essex residents. It is my hope that this funding will have an impact on activity levels across the county and help provide further opportunities in creating sustainable active travel.”
Active Essex is the Active Partnership for the county and hosted by Essex County Council.
LMCT is the parent charity of London Marathon Events (LME), the organisers of RideLondon. All surplus from events organised by LME is gifted to LMCT, who in turn provide grants to projects that inspire activity.