People in North Solihull are going green in a bid to access jobs, with the creation of a new 8-mile network of cycle friendly routes to top employment areas, making cycling a cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly way for people to get to and from work.
Supported by over £1.3 million from the European Regional Development Fund which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and match funded by Solihull Council, the North Solihull Strategic Cycle project is part of a package of activities to develop and improve the North Solihull area.
Communities Minister Baroness Hanham CBE said:
These new cycle routes will improve the environment and support struggling communities and their residents by helping individuals to access employment opportunities. This cycle network aims to help boost access to employment opportunities providing a way for people to get to and from work and improve the local economy.
Local businesses will be encouraged to embrace this eco-friendly means of travel with grants available for improving facilities for cyclists - from cycle parking to changing facilities. Assistance in setting up ‘Bike to Work’ schemes, offering a bike pool and lunch time rides to keep fit, will also be available.
This project, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund fits well with the programme for sustainable urban development and provides support for those seeking employment.
Councillor Ian Courts, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Solihull Council, said:
This new cycle route is another important investment that we are making into North Solihull. It underlines the commitment that we are making to improve transport options, as well as give other means of access to employment. We still have a lot of work to do to encourage more people to adopt what really is a healthy, and enjoyable, means of getting to work, but are working hard with employers to get their support on this.
To find out more about the new cycle routes and business grants, contact Martin Stockman on 0121 704 8291.
Notes to editors
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013. This is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development.
The West Midlands European Regional Development Fund Programme has been allocated 400 million euros to invest in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
In the West Midlands the priority areas and themes are:
Innovation and Research and Development - Increasing investment in research and development through helping businesses take forward new innovation, sharing of knowledge and developing and demonstrating new technology
Enterprise Development - Increasing business performance through supporting high growth businesses, improving resource efficiency, providing access to finance and developing a strong entrepreneurial culture
Sustainable Urban Development - Improving the performance of key urban areas through regenerating local areas, encouraging investment and new businesses, creating job opportunities and helping communities most in need
Inter-Regional Activity - Working with European partners to learn and improve, share and apply best practice and solve problems.
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