British Cycling receives £5m funding boost from Sport England

British cycling will benefit from a £5.69 million cash injection from Sport England; the funding allowing it to continue working in the mass market over the next two years.

The organisation, which aims to encourage those who cycle less than once a week to get on their bikes more regularly, will show a particular focus on women, young people, and those with a disability or life-limiting condition.

Focusing on these groups, British Cycling hopes, will broaden cycling’s appeal as an activity for all, in turn encouraging the country to be “fitter, greener and healthier.”

During 2017, British Cycling’s organised, recreational rides attracted more than 456,000 participants.

In the same year, Sport England invested £7 million funding into keeping regular riders cycling and £4.62 million to help talented athletes. Adding the latest investment to the mix, Sport England has contributed a total of £17.3 million in to grassroots cycling.

Sport England also announced a further £15 million to be channelled directly in to local community cycling facilities as part of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith, said: “13 million people in England have bikes but don’t cycle regularly, citing a lack of confidence and feeling unsafe on the roads as barriers that put them off.

“The 2017 investment we made into British Cycling has already prompted huge increases in participation of its programmes with a focus on clear gains to people’s health, mental well-being and individual development. We’re delighted to be offering British Cycling further investment to develop its programmes further and improve the cycling infrastructure with partnerships with the Department of Transport, and the National Trust.”

British Cycling’s plethora of recreational programmes continues to develop: HSBC UK Ready Set Ride complements HSBC UK Go-Ride in providing opportunities for young people to develop their skills and confidence on a bike, while HSBC UK Breeze (rides led by women, for women) this year reached a milestone 200,000 participants since its launch in 2011.

Similarly, the mass participation, big-city HSBC UK Let’s Ride events, in which roads are closed to traffic allowing locals to enjoy their city by bike, this year welcomed 113,500 people to over 14 events.

British Cycling’s Strategy Director, Martin Merryweather, said: “This funding is fantastic news, and gives us additional momentum and impetus as we look forward to 2019, building on British Cycling’s reputation for successfully combining elite success and increased participation.

“Our HSBC UK Breeze programme has been the hugely successful cornerstone of our women’s strategy, which is on course to encourage one million more women to cycle by 2020; our recently-launched HSBC UK Ready Set Ride initiative equips parents and teachers with the necessary skills and exercises to help children learn to ride a bike; while our network of HSBC UK Disability Hubs offer coaching and development for all riders with a physical or learning disability.”

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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