Darlington Cycling Campaign has been awarded one of just three New Ideas Fund grants to build on the work of the Beauty and the Bike project. The Campaign’s submission is for a bike pool of the kind of dutch-style bikes that are proving so popular amongst young women who want to cycle.
With funding for between 60 and 100 bikes, and support staff to promote the bike pool in workplaces, colleges and schools, the aim is to kick-start a cycling culture in the town that is more attractive to women in particular
Bike Hub’s New Ideas Fund is financed by British bicycle retailers through a levy on all bicycle sales. The scheme received applications from national as well as local organisations. Darlington Cycling Campaign’s proposals explained how the Beauty and the Bike project found that peer group culture is an important barrier to young women cycling. But where small groups got together to start using stylish bikes, the barriers begin to crumble.
The new funding means that Beauty and the Bike’s existing bike pool, Velodarlo, which has been set up informally to support the Darlington Media Group documentary project, will be replaced by a fully constituted Association, DarLOVElo. The Media Group have already agreed in principle to hand over all the Velodarlo bikes to the new body, which will be run by the young women themselves with support from a Board of Trustees.
The Campaign will launch DarLOVElo at the UK premiere screening of the film Beauty and the Bike, and launch of the book and exhibition of the same name, at Darlington Arts Centre on Wednesday 9th December.