Active travel boost for Clydesdale villages

A rural Clydesdale charity has received a five-figure grant to encourage local people to get on their bikes.

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The Rural Development Trust has received a £19,000 windfall from the council and Banks Renewables to help get people in local communities back on their bikes.
The Rural Development Trust has received a £19,000 windfall from the council and Banks Renewables to help get people in local communities back on their bikes.

The £19,000 grant from Banks Renwables and South Lanarkshire Council has enabled the Rural Development Trust to purchase a fleet of community bikes to encourage active travel.

Thanks to the bumper donation, the charity also hopes to host cycling courses, training days and bike safety workshops for residents in Crawford, Glespin, Rigside and Douglas Water.

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RDT already works in these communities, trying to improve accessibility while educating and encouraging residents to choose more sustainable methods of getting from A to B.

Hands-on training will be offered at workshops.

After receiving the grant, RDT organised a public vote on the way to spend the money, to ensure maximum benefit to local people.

Sarah O’Sullivan, RDT project officer, said: “As well as teaching children in the area about bike safety we’re also trying to highlight to them, and adults alike, the importance of sustainable active travel through leaflets, school visits and cycle days.

“This all costs a lot of money, so it’s brilliant to have received the REF grant to make this possible.

“We’re so grateful to Banks and South Lanarkshire Council as the funding will help organise everything – from map boards around the community to bike sessions for schools, which is hopefully going to have a big impact on keeping children and people healthy and cutting emissions around our rural communities.”

The RDT applied for funding from the REF from Banks Renewables and South Lanarkshire Council, which is part of Banks’ wider Connect2Renewables initiative – a commitment from Banks to maximise social, economic and environmental benefits to communities that host its projects.

Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables, said: “This funding illustrates the sorts of benefits onshore wind can bring to South Lanarkshire.

“We are delighted to contribute to an initiative that will help make people in South Lanarkshire healthier as well as more sustainable.

“The work that is going on at the Rural Development Trust is essential in so many ways. The community and the environment are benefiting greatly from it. We are delighted to be able to offer them the grant alongside South Lanarkshire Council.”

Over the course of its 30-year lifetime, Kype Muir wind farm is set to give over £100 million back to communities local to the development through the likes of community funding, local employment initiatives and infrastructure contributions, while generating over 150MW of electricity per annum – enough to meet the needs of more than 110,000 homes.