In 2015, Island businesses, organisations and community groups will be able to apply to the “Drive Less, See More” grant scheme, which will be administered by Community Action IW. They can seek financial support of up to £10,000 for projects which help visitors to travel around the Island by bus, train, bike, on foot or electric vehicle and help to grow the value of the visitor economy.
The grant funding has grown from Isle of Wight Council’s previously successful applications to the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). A whole new series of green transport initiatives supported by a second central government funding bid will be announced this year.
The news of the new grant funding scheme is being welcomed by the Isle of Wight Council’s Executive member for sustainability, environment and public realm, Councillor Luisa Hillard, who said:
“The LSTF funding is already making a real difference to how visitors travel around the Island, including the popular Coaster Bus Service and the many improvements made to cycling and walking routes. It is hoped these innovative projects will inspire even more Island businesses to apply to the Drive Less, See More Grant Scheme to make their project a reality”.
This new grant scheme is hot on the heels of last year’s successful “Bicycle Island” Development Grants Scheme that saw a number of new cycle tourism services developed across the Island. The Drive Less See More scheme expands this idea, to allow applications not just about cycling but from ANY form of sustainable transport. Essentially, any organisation with a great idea that helps get visitors to experience the Island in a more sustainable way can apply for funding.
Drive Less See More has been used by Visit Isle of Wight in 2014 to brand promotions that attract more car free tourists to enjoy an Island holiday. It encourages them to leave the car behind and enjoy the real Isle of Wight on a variety of transport modes.
Tom Ransom from Visit Isle of Wight said:
“Adverts and promotions on the London Underground and in the national press in 2014 have focused on the Isle of Wight being an easy and fun place to take a car-free break. We already have an enviable range of car-free holiday options but see the sector expanding significantly in 2015.”
For further information, and to download the full Drive Less, See More Grant Scheme guidance and application form, please visit http://www.communityactionisleofwight.org.uk/drive-less-see-grants/ or contact Community Action Isle of Wight: email [email protected] or telephone 01983 524058.