“Are you prepared to play?,” asks Bicycle Association of cycle trade as Bicycle Industries Fund drive begins

At yesterday’s Bicycle Association of Great Britain Spring meet further detail emerged on the proposed Bicycle Industries Fund, an separate pot to the current Bike Hub fund and one for which it is proposed that “major backers” would benefit from a consumer facing Fair Trade style marque, flagging sponsors of grassroots cycling development to customers.

“The Bicycle Association has thus far, despite receiving no funding outside of its own voluntary contributions, been perhaps the most significant contributor to grassroots cycling, helping deliver enormous opportunity to the industry’s future customers via schemes like Go Ride, Bike It, The Big pedal and many more. With the Bicycle Industries Fund i’m now asking the industry are you prepared to really play for the future of cycling?,” asked executive director Phillip Darnton.

With the new Bicycle Industries Fund a target of £500,000 has been set, with kick off set for summer of this year. It is hoped, as with Bike Hub, that the Government will further match the funding, or better. The BIF will not replace the Bike Hub fund, which instead relies largely on a voluntary percentage of sales contribution, something not deemed appropriate for all of those wishing to contribute. Indeed, contribution to the new fund needn’t even be in cash, resources and equipment contributions are welcomed.

“The bike hub Levy has been the number one door opener in Government,” added operations director Steve Garidis. “We’ve initially outlined a proposal that would draw on 12 major backers for the fund, who would be the main sponsors and thus receive the greatest kudos with consumers, many of whom may have participated in schemes backed by the fund.”

Addressing concerns that transparency in spend was perhaps poorly addressed with the Bike Hub fund before now, Garidis outlined that all future procurement would be open and transparent with tenders put out publicly to complete work associated with the fund. Spend decisions would furthermore likely be made by those industry brands placing the greatest contribution in the fund.

“I think a committee of 12 would be desirable,” Garidis told CyclingIndustry.News, “However, we welcome the industry at large to get involved and will assess the fairest way to proceed once we begin to ramp up participation.”

The Bicycle Industries Fund “will need a dedicated human resource” and will also require a dedicated advocacy team to drive the PR element, the room was told.

To inquire about becoming a Bicycle Association member, or to participate in the fund, contact Garidis here.