An opportunity has opened up for the communities of North Montgomeryshire to apply for finance from Arwain, to have a feasibility study carried out in the area to explore the viability of developing a cycling, walking and riding network. MontytraX is a community supported project that aims to develop an active travel and leisure network in North Montgomeryshire using where possible old railway lines, back roads, footpaths, bridle paths, forestry tracks and road verges in order to
- Provide safer cycling and walking opportunities for families and local people and enable them to cycle to school, work and access amenities in other nearby communities.
- To further develop tourism in the area and facilitate sustainability
- To further improve the quality of life, health and wellbeing for local people regardless of age or disability.
The Feasibility Study would identify:
- Which suggested routes are realistic to be developed or signposted within each community
- A circular route of North Montgomeryshire to connect the different communities and routes to each other
- Ways these routes can connect with other parts of Montgomeryshire and National Networks
- How the different routes could be classified so that locals and visitors alike, can plan their routes to meet personal specifications-i.e – mountain biking, family safe routes , bridle paths, easy walks etc.
It will clarify the order of which sections of the cycle network can be best implemented and which are already able to be used immediately. This would include the estimated cost and timescale it would take to achieve this, who would take responsibility for what aspect of the work and how the network could add value to local identity and natural and cultural resources.
- Other successful networks that the MontytraX group can go and visit to ensure that we don’t mistakes that others have made.
Funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales (RDP) as part of the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, Arwain is working with Powys County Council to deliver the LEADER 2014 – 2020 programme in Powys. LEADER uses local knowledge to promote a joined-up “Grass Roots” community-led delivery for rural development.
The One Powys Local Action Group has been formed and submitted a Local Development Strategy to Welsh Government in September 2014. It has been successful in securing £3,750,000 for projects which will create vibrant, empowered and connected local communities, delivering sustainable and innovative solutions to current and future economic, social and environmental issues, to enhance the economic wealth of the County. Arwain is committed to funding 80% of the bid with the successful applicant ensuring 20% is raised themselves.
MontytraX has made an expression of interest to Arwain and is waiting to hear if the initiative is suitable to make a full application. If invited to make an application the aim is to have it submitted by March 31st . It is hoped that the feasibility study will begin as soon as the money can be released – April at the earliest.
In order to make a successful bid for the money MontytraX wants to build on the support that has been evident for the project so far and collate evidence of local, county and national support. Already partnered with by Powys County Council and SUSTRANS amongst others, it is an exciting prospect which could capture a part of the Local and National cycling tourism revenue and provide opportunity to develop employment and diversification for local people.
Ways you can get involved as individuals, businesses, organisations would be
- Represent your community and come to the three fortnightly meetings held on 25th February, 10th and 24th March 7:30 pm Cain Valley Hotel Llanfyllin and give of your time over the next month to talk to local businesses and organisations in your area and collect evidence of their support to support the bid
- Provide Welsh translations of the minutes and any material required.
- To express your support by completing petitions that are in your local shops, schools, community centres or send an e-mail to MontytraX@btinternet.com explaining why you think developing this network is important for your family and the area.
- Donate money or begin to think of ways to fundraise to help us achieve the £5000 we’ll need to match fund ARWAIN contribution. Ideas – EG Crowdfunding We need 400 people giving 310 or 1000 giving £5 Fundraising Initiative
- Commit to getting involved at the developmental stage in Autumn .
If you have any further information on this topic please contact us or use the comment section below.