Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon has announced extra capital funding of £2 million for Councils to assist them in developing and delivering active travel schemes and greenway projects in 2021/22 and 2022/23.
Minister Mallon said: “In June 2021, I announced that I intended to make £2.5 million of capital funding available from my Blue Green Infrastructure Fund in support of the development of greenway schemes by Councils. I indicated then that I was ready to make further funding allocations available to Councils that were in a position to start construction in 2021/22 and some £0.6 million of the £2.5 million was held for that purpose.
“My Walking and Cycling Champion wrote to Councils seeking details of other greenway and active travel projects that could start to be delivered this year. I am delighted that we received many more applications for funding than the £0.6 million that I had originally set aside. Following consideration of the proposals, I am therefore announcing today that I am allocating extra capital grant funding of £2 million, on top of the £2.5 million that I announced in June. Of this, a range of greenway development projects will receive almost £1.6 million over the next two years, with a further £0.4 million of funding invested in Council active travel projects, such as cycle parking and repair stations which can be delivered in 2021/22.
“Since the pandemic started, many more people have been enjoying the great outdoors and it is my ambition to build on this momentum. I believe that greenways and similar community paths will ultimately create public spaces that will encourage active travel, enhance our quality of life and leave an enduring legacy to be enjoyed by future generations.”
The Minister continued: “I realise there is a lot of work to be done in such a short time, but I want to work with Councils and stakeholders to develop local active travel routes as part of my vision to enable greater sustainable transport options that connect communities, tackle the impact of climate change and improve our health and wellbeing.
“My Department will continue to work with Councils to assist in the successful delivery of their greenway and active travel projects this financial year and beyond.”