Cycling Scotland awards twelve social housing providers £267,000 to to improve active travel

Cycling Scotland has awarded 12 social housing providers a combined total of more than £267,000 to improve cycling and walking facilities for their residents.

More than £1.6million of funding from Transport Scotland has been awarded since the Social Housing Partnership Fund opened in 2019. The fund prioritises support for social housing in areas experiencing high levels of deprivation.

Beneficiaries include social housing providers across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Argyll & Bute, Renfrewshire and East Lothian. More than 3,000 households will be able to benefit from improvements to facilities at their properties.

These include the installation of cycle storage and mobility scooter storage for residents, improvements to communal gardens and green spaces, purchasing of fleets of bikes, and the creation of a cycle hub.

Blue Triangle Housing Association will receive a combined total of £24,512 to install cycle storage and purchase fleets of bikes for residents at properties in Clydebank, Oban and Musselburgh.

Kathryn Irvine, communications & administration coordinator at Blue Triangle, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application to the Social Housing Partnership Fund. This award will allow three of our services to promote active travel for the people we support, to travel within their local communities, and to cycle for leisure and exercise as well. The secure bike storage will allow bikes to be stored safely outdoors instead of within resident’s rooms, which will help to improve their living space.

“The support and guidance given to us by Cycling Scotland throughout the process was excellent and the team was always on hand to answer our myriad of questions. We can’t wait to start our new cycling programme, we’re planning a ‘Tour de Triangle’ sponsored cycle between all three services!”

Linstone Housing, based in Renfrewshire, will receive a combined total of £66,750 of funding to improve active travel facilities at properties in Linwood, Johnstone, and Paisley.

Fiona Dunlop, community engagement officer at Linstone Housing, added: “Linstone are pleased to have received funding to enable us to purchase bike, e-bike and mobility scooter storage facilities. Some residents in our sheltered accommodation have been keeping their mobility scooters in their homes, and others don’t have access to them as they have no storage. We aim to reduce social isolation by supporting residents to get out and about, by providing storage at these sites.

“At some of our properties, there’s nowhere secure to keep bikes. Concerns over security have led to people chaining bikes to bannisters in closes, impeding access to hallways, which could be dangerous in the event of an emergency. The new storage facilities will help alleviate this problem and hopefully encourage greater bike ownership.

“None of this would be possible without the support we received from the Social Housing Partnership Fund through Cycling Scotland. Linstone would encourage other social housing providers to think about their own active travel schemes and to contact Cycling Scotland for a chat, they are very helpful and knowledgeable and are very willing to give support and advice.”

Hugh Macgregor, social housing development officer at Cycling Scotland, commented: “Cycling should be accessible to anyone, anywhere – the Social Housing Partnership Fund supports people living in social housing to access the benefits of cycling. Through the pandemic, we’ve collectively realised the importance of green space and getting outside for maintaining good health and wellbeing.

“By providing grants for secure cycle storage to social housing providers, more residents can make journeys by bike as they now have somewhere safe to keep it. Every journey cycled makes a difference in tackling the climate emergency. We encourage social housing providers interested in accessing the fund to get in touch.”

The housing providers receiving funding are:

  • Maryhill Housing Association
  • Elpis Centre
  • Southside Housing Association
  • Queens Cross Housing Association
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Blue Triangle Housing Association Ltd
  • Dunedin Canmore
  • Cube Housing Association
  • Loretto Housing Association
  • Glasgow Housing Association
  • Linstone Housing
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