Businesses that use motorised vehicles to carry out their activities across North Somerset can apply for funding for an electric cargo bike to help them reduce their carbon footprint, courtesy of a grant made available by the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils have been invited to resubmit their joint proposal to the EST’s Local Authority eCargo Bike Grant Fund 2021/22, following an original application in March last year.
As 2020/21 has changed the way many businesses operate due to COVID, previous applicants are being asked to resubmit their applications, and other businesses are also welcome to apply. All applications will be scored competitively.
Cllr Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, said: “This welcome support from the Energy Saving Trust will help businesses of all sizes revolutionise the way they make their deliveries, do business and help their communities across North Somerset.
“We look forward to helping as many people and organisations as possible to travel in this zero-emissions way, reducing car and van use in our towns and villages and making the region a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”
The grant will cover up to 100% of the cost of the eCargo bike for businesses in North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire (excluding accessories and any associated training costs, which the business itself will need to cover). Though individual cargo bikes may be up to 100% funded, the grant does not cover VAT, which will be payable by the applicant at the point the bike is ordered. The specific bike will need to be mentioned, along with its price, on the application form.
The deadline to apply for this grant due to the EST’s tight timeframes, is 4pm on Friday 18 June 2021. To register interest and to receive an application form (available from 4 June), interested businesses operating in North Somerset should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your business would like to trial an electric cargo bike, contact North Somerset’s Sustainable Travel Business Engagement Officer on email@example.com. Month-long free trials are available (a returnable deposit is payable) and the ecargo bike has already been borrowed by a wood co-operative, a micropub, a campsite and a cleaning and maintenance company.
North Somerset Council is hoping for a positive outcome in its bid to the Department for Transport for funding to extend its electric bike trial scheme. This scheme aims to help more people and businesses gain first-hand experience of electric bikes with a view to increasing zero-emission and active travel, and reducing carbon emissions. To register your business, organisation or community group’s interest in an electric bike trial, contact the Sustainable Travel team on the email address above or by calling 01275 884 605.
Individuals can hire an electric bike for free for two weeks by visiting the Get a Bike section of the Better by Bike website. Free adult cycle training is also available in one-to-one or small-group sessions. Visit https://betterbybike.info/ – waiting lists can apply at busy times.