News from ATOG (The Arnside to Grange Cycle & Footpath)

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Adrian and Stuart attended a meeting held at the Cumbria County Council offices in Kendal on 5 March hosted by Susannah Bleakley, Morecambe Bay Partnership. The aim of the meeting was to explore how to progress a Coastal Communities Fund bid and help develop ideas for this. Also at the meeting were Nikki Wingfield and Martyn Brunt from Sustrans. Mark Brierley, Cumbria County Council’s cycling officer and Lucy Barron from the AONB, as well as representatives from Lancashire and Cumbria County Councils and other groups hoping to attract funding. We are having a further meeting in a fortnight to progress the ideas as it may be that the bid for the Pathway/Cycleway goes forward as a stand alone bid or grouped with others within the Morecambe Bay Partnership area which includes the Headlands to Headspace (H2H) project which has been successful in attracting Lottery funding.

Time is short as there is a short deadline for applications and the application form is immanently due to hit the streets. The Coastal Communities Fund is a £24m fund to support imaginative and innovative projects that promote jobs and growth and help to build stronger and more diverse local economies. There are grants available of between £50,000 and £2million. ATOG’s aim’s puts a tick in many of the boxes that the funds criteria sets out. There will be lots of competition nationally from other coastal communities hoping to attract funding. The timescale is short as expressions of interest are required by end of March. Fast track applications by May. Deadline for UK wide applications is September. We have asked Sustrans to help us with the application. Lucy Barron has also kindly offered any help that can be given by the AONB as the project has been part of their Business Plan for a number of years. Mark Brierley informed us of other sources of funding for projects in the South Lakeland area of the National Park and information on the Coastal Access Bill, which promotes public access  to coastal areas.

Adrian, Stuart, Nikki and Martyn then in true tradition adjourned to the coffee shop to admire and study in detail the recently arrived first draft report of the Arnside to Grange Cycleway Feasibility Study which is nearing completion by Sustrans North West team. The report has identified seven possible options for routes on the Western side of the viaduct with considerations for each route. It also includes information on the process Network Rail follows for projects that affect their infrastructure which is a staged project development and delivery process known as the ‘GRIP (Governance of Railway Investment Projects). Also an initial assessment of potential constraints for route development taking into account; designated sites for nature conservation, protected and notable species and notable habitats.

The report is not yet finalised as amongst other things will include cross sections to illustrate what the path would look like. 

We will shortly arrange dates to hold  public meetings for ATOG supporters in both Arnside and Grange. We hope that Tim Farron will be able to attend one of these meetings.

We will in touch with our supporters soon with these dates and hope to see as many of you as possible at these meetings and put names to faces.

Regards Adrian and Stuart

For more information about ATOG visit their Facebook page at this link.