The money is coming from the Big Lottery’s ‘Reaching Communities Programme’, which will secure the scheme for another five years. It will also enable the scheme to take on an additional member of staff, in order to expand.
Sandie Abberley, who manages the scheme says: “We’ve never been able to plan in a way that gaining funding for five years will allow us to. It was fairly straight forward to apply and we were only a few pounds short of the entire amount we asked for.”
Nicky Bassett-Powell, who is the national W2WA coordinator, is hopeful that media and political interest in W2W schemes will result in similar results for other funding bids: “We are hoping that the tide is turning for W2W, which endured a number of lean years with funding difficult to come by.
“W2W schemes are highly cost effective in getting people into employment and training. Recently we had extremely positive comments from both David Cameron’s office, in awarding the Shropshire Scheme a ‘Big Society Award’ and from Minister Richard Benyon in describing W2W as a ‘mainstream transport solution…with the power to change lives’”.
The ‘Reaching Communities Programme’ backs ‘projects which are most likely to make a difference where it is needed’, which is clearly in evidence with W2W, as a highly cost effective way of providing rural transport.
A sister scheme in Nottingham is now awaiting news of whether its bid for Big Lottery funding is successful.
Leicester and Rutland Wheels to work go electric
A number of schemes have expressed interest in buying electric scooters, cycles and motorcycles, to reduce carbon footprints.
The Leicester and Rutland Wheels to Work scheme is leading the way with the recent purchase of three Yamaha EC03 electric scooters and 7 electric cycles. The first customer to take a Yamaha scooter works in a country pub about four miles from his home. Rob Bindloss who runs the scheme explained the electric scooter was ideal in this circumstance: “Short commutes are ideal for small electric scooters and cycles, which can be charged on a domestic plug - so no special infrastructure is necessary and can be easily recharged during working hours.
“Running is obviously much cheaper, with industry estimates suggesting charging works out at around a penny a mile”.
You can follow Wheels to Work news on Twitter and Facebook, where announcements about new schemes will be made in the next few weeks.
The next board meeting for the Wheels to Work Association will be held in September.