Community groups can now apply for funding to set up projects that encourage walking and cycling.

Waltham Forest Council has set aside £20,000 to push for more sustainable transport options.

The new funding will form part of the borough’s controversial Enjoy Waltham Forest cycling scheme, also known as Mini Holland, which has seen roads closed to cars and traffic redirected to encourage people to get on their bikes.

A council funded report by Kings College London revealed the changes already made could add at least six weeks on to the life expectancy of children currently living in the borough.

Groups can bid for up to £2,500 from the fund to deliver projects over the spring and summer of 2019.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment, said: “As a council we have been encouraging our residents to be more active, but we know people respond better and more positively to seeing their friends, family members and colleagues walking or cycling.

“This is why we’re asking local groups to get on board to support more of our residents to discover the enjoyment and benefits of a more active and healthier lifestyle.

“We hope that these projects will not only help us achieve our aims of making sustainable transport an attractive option for our residents when going out and about.

“We also hope they help to tackle social isolation and loneliness and some of the serious health problems Londoners face due to inactivity and poor air quality.”

The council hopes the fund would encourage more community led guided walks or bike rides in the borough, as well as bike maintenance classes for various community groups.

Applications for the cash opened yesterday (Monday, February 4) and close at 5pm on Friday, March 15.

Those applying must provide a project plan as part of their bid and details of how they will measure their project’s outcomes.

To find out more about the Community Walking and Cycling Fund and guidance for applying click here