Morecambe Bay Partnership scores new success for the Bay

27 January 2015

£300K award from Coastal Communities Fund to build cycle tourism around Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay Partnership is thrilled by this latest successful award of £300,000 to support our work to attract new visitors.  Around Morecambe Bay we will create a new electric bike network and install new bike infrastructure such as public repair stands.  This will create the UK’s first long distance cycle route accessible by electric bike.

At the start of the Morecambe Bay Cycle Way a vibrant new cycle café and visitor information hub will be created.   This investment at Sandy Gap on Walney Island, near Barrow-in-Furness will bring a derelict building back into use, transforming it into a much-needed café, visitor and community facility.

Together the investment will make Morecambe Bay a great destination for cyclists and cycle tourism.  Cycle tourism is rapidly growing and this award will bring new jobs and business opportunities to the area.

Electric bikes are great for encouraging people to try cycling.  Creating a new electric bike network, as well as boosting the Bay Cycle Way will bring health and well-being benefits; benefits for tourism and business and encourage green travel.

Talking about the planned works for Sandy Gap, Maddi Nicholson, a director of the Sandy Gap community interest company said, “It’s fantastic that Walney’s Sandy Gap has been recognised nationally with a large grant for new jobs and improvements to make a visitor facility for the island.
This project had to happen – the building has been an eyesore for years, yet it’s on one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain. All of us who use the beach know it needs, and could be something really special. Clearly the Sandy Gap building in its current condition is a sorry sight.
Sandy Gap’s visitor facility will offer an unusual mix of uses – a bit of a museum, a cuppa, a quirky souvenir and a puncture repair kit.  Morecambe Bay Partnership’s new Bay Cycle Route starts here this summer, so we aim to offer a Barrovian welcome at Sandy Gap, to many new visitors to Walney Island.
Susannah Bleakley added, "This award is not just about bikes – it's about the kind of place we want Morecambe Bay to be…
We've a clear vision to support communities, bring jobs, new business opportunities and health benefits as well as supporting green travel and the visitor economy.  This award is another step towards creating a new wave of visitors around the Bay – those keen on travel by bike and exploring our rich heritage offer.  We are working to make Morecambe Bay the best and most inspired example of sustainable tourism growth in the UK, creating a 'must visit' destination that offers a warm welcome to visitors old and new, and supporting businesses to create jobs."


Susannah Bleakley, Executive Director, Morecambe Bay Partnership

07552 063 607

All images copyright Susannah Bleakley – please include a credit.

Notes to Editors

1. Morecambe Bay Partnership is a small charity making big things happen in the Morecambe Bay area. We are delivering £3.6 million worth of projects to benefit communities around the Bay; to create jobs, celebrate our heritage and cherish our environment.

We want to bring more visitors to enjoy the Bay and boost the
local economy. Through our varied projects we celebrate history and care for nature. There’s something for everyone, from saving the fascinating stories of our veteran fishermen to protecting the roosts of wading birds so they continue to provide a spectacle for us to wonder at and enjoy.

2. The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) aims to encourage the economic development of UK coastal communities by awarding funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs. Since the start of the CCF in 2012 grants have been awarded to 104 organisations across the UK to the value of £53.6 million. This funding is forecast to deliver 7,655 jobs and help attract around £90 million of additional funds to coastal areas. The Big Lottery Fund is delivering the CCF on behalf of UK Government and the Devolved Administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

* The Bay Cycle Way, from Walney to Glasson Dock, is being developed by Morecambe Bay Partnership with partners Sustrans. Coming in June 2015. Have your own big adventure on two wheels! The Bay Cycle Way will connect, sign and improve 150km of relatively flat cycle routes around the Bay. It is a new, family-friendly, long distance route, suitable for entry-level touring cyclists and will be no. 700 on the National Cycle Network (NCN).

And importantly it is designed so that you’ll never be far from a loo, a view or a brew!

A fun, friendly way of enjoying and exploring our spectacular coastline.

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