New cycling hub gets £147k boost

An initiative aimed at getting more people in Liverpool to cycle has been given a £147,000 windfall by the Steve Morgan Foundation and the  Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Liverpool Wheels for All project will be based at Springfield Park, alongside the world-leading Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

The scheme is open to everyone and will also provide inclusive and accessible cycling equipment facilities to make sure that disabled people don’t miss out.

It’s hoped that patients at the nearby Alder Hey Children’s Hospital will also be able to take advantage of the facilities as part of their rehabilitation.

The project has the backing of Liverpool City Council, as part of their plan for better cycling routes across and their goal of creating a city that is inclusive for everyone.

The scheme has been awarded  a total of £147,842 by the Steve Morgan Foundation and the DCMS as part of the Community Match Challenge (CMC) Fund.

Steve Morgan said: “I know the value and benefit of regular exercise and by providing the best facilities we hope to open it up to everyone.

“Wheels for All is exactly that. It will make cycling more accessible to more people and I’m absolutely delighted that they’re partnering with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

“This is exactly the type of initiative the Steve Morgan Foundation and DCMS came together to support as part of the Community Match Challenge (CMC) Fund.”

The £147,842 Community Match Challenge Fund has been used to buy a range of bicycles, trikes, specially adapted bikes  and a container to store them in that will be based at Springfield Park.

Ian Tierney is the charity director of Cycling Projects, which is behind the Wheels for All project.

He said: “Wheels for All will be open to all ages and abilities. We want to ensure that disabled people have the skills, knowledge and awareness that cycling is available and accessible for everyone in the city and we’ll be building strong partnerships with many of Liverpool’s disability support organisations and delivering regular inclusive cycling activities across the city.

“One of our key partnerships will be with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to create a cycling offer for patients, their families, staff and volunteers connected to the hospital services. We have chosen Springfield Park as it is an ideal setting for introductions to cycling for people of all abilities.”

The organisers are also in talks with Sustrans about using the 11-mile traffic-free Liverpool Loop Line for cyclists wanting to go further afield.

People will be able to pre-book a bike for a small charge.

Sioned Haf Davies, children’s physiotherapist at Alder Hey Children’s  Hospital, said: “Now more than ever it is important to us all to keep physically active and look after ourselves and our family.

“Cycling is a great way of keeping fit and healthy and a great social activity for children with learning or physical needs, making it an accessible activity for all. Cycling has many health benefits: for example, improving physical fitness, self-confidence and physical skills, while also improving mental well-being. Wheels for All for accessible cycling is a fantastic initiative at Springfield Park for all families to enjoy.”

Councillor Pam Thomas, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for an inclusive and accessible city and herself a wheelchair user said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to create a place where those with a range of disabilities can access the health benefits of cycling with specially adapted cycles.

“The fact that the new hub is located in the emerging new Springfield Park alongside our children’s hospital also provides potential for new approaches to therapy and rehabilitation for those undergoing treatment in Alder Hey.”

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