Malvern Hills District Council to support community transport projects

Malvern Hills District Council is providing funding to support innovative and sustainable community transport projects across the district.

Working in partnership with crowdfunding platform Spacehive, the council has launched the People Make Places: Ticket to Ride Fund which will support transport projects that are citizen-led and community-based.

The council has made a pot of £150,000 available over the next three years (across six rounds of funding) to support community transport initiatives. The maximum amount pledged to a project will be £50,000 or 50 per cent of the total project costs.

Donations from communities, local businesses and foundations will make up the rest. The deadline for organisations to pitch their project idea is 30 September.

The aim is to boost connectivity of communities in the Malvern Hills District by improving local people's ability to travel to services and opportunities for social interaction. Also, to increase social mobility, promote independence and self care, as well as to empower communities by creating an environment where people stay healthy for longer.

Over the past few months, the council has supported a range of community projects recovering from the Covid-19 crisis. This was the first round of funding as part of Spacehive and £25,000 was used to support local organisations and encourage pledges from the community. Up to £5,000 was pledged towards an individual project.

Amongst the organisations to benefit from the funding was Age UK who reached their target of over £5000 which will go towards their 'Reaching Out Across the Malvern Hills' project. The project aims to create a specialist befriending service to reach out to older residents in the district who have been isolated during the coronavirus pandemic. The council provided £2,500 of the funds.

Spacehive will be holding a free, virtual event over Zoom at 12pm on Friday 4 September to provide information about funding opportunities, local success stories and how to get involved.

Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: "Community transport initiatives connect communities and reduce social isolation. By launching our People Make Places: Ticket to Ride Fund, we aim to ensure community transport remains sustainable and available for those that need it most.

"We hope to provide support to maintain that much-needed lifeline for the vulnerable and elderly residents across the district, but to also provide innovative solutions for all ages, such as car shares, electric bike possibilities and more".

Visit www.spacehive.com/movement/worcs/news to book a place on the virtual event or visit www.spacehive.com/movement/worcs for more information on Spacehive.

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