Calls have been made for further investment in grassroots cycling projects following the success of a funding scheme run during last summer's UCI Cycling World Championships.

An independent evaluation will be published on Wednesday assessing the outcomes of the Go Cycle Glasgow Fund, created by Glasgow Life to support the city’s cycling activation programme in local communities.

The fund, which allocated more than £160,000 worth of financial support to 29 organisations, has been found to have had positive impacts on accessibility, reducing barriers to participation, engaging under-represented groups in the city, and sustainability.

Conducted by Glasgow Centre for Population Health, the Go Cycle Glasgow Fund Evaluation found above average participation from asylum seekers and refugees, LGBTQ+ populations and people from a non-white ethnic background.

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Nearly half of the organisations involved are to continue to provide cycling opportunities for under-represented groups.

Gregor Yates, Public Health Research Specialist at the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and lead author of the report, added: “This evaluation highlights the important role of community organisations in ensuring access to cycling for different population groups.

"The findings demonstrate wide-ranging and multiple benefits, but most commonly through increased confidence and empowerment.

"Further investment in this type of approach is needed to ensure continued diversification of Glasgow’s cycling population."

Priority was given to groups working with young people, women, people with disabilities, low-income families, and minority ethnic groups.

Feedback gained through an online survey was collected from 26 out of 29 funded organisations, of which nearly one third provided cycling activities for the first time.

At least 1454 people were engaged in activities through a Go Cycle funded project..

Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: "Go Cycle Glasgow is a wonderful Championship legacy project, set up to support local participation in cycling for recreation, sport, and active travel.

“The enthusiasm and commitment of these local groups and everything they have achieved by creating and delivering a variety of ways to get on a bike was impressive.

"It is reassuring to learn 94% of participants agreed the Go Cycle fund was well delivered and that by working with these organisations, we were able to encourage more young people and those from under-represented groups to try cycling and experience the joy it offers.

"We welcome this evaluation and are keen to share the learning, bringing the many benefits of cycling to more people across Glasgow."

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The evaluation shows those aged 16 to 24 years old made up 60% of the participants from those organisations that submitted age demographics.

Transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming participant numbers were higher than their proportion of the general population in Glasgow.

More than a third of participants were either seeking asylum or had refugee status in the UK while asylum seekers and refugees make up less than 1% of the Glasgow population.

A similar higher participation figure was recorded for those from a non-white ethnic background, who accounted for 56% of participants from the 16 groups that provided this data.

To ensure a legacy from the 2023 UCI World Cycling Championships the Go Cycle Fund prioritised cycling programmes that were inclusive, accessible, and addressed barriers to taking part in physical activity.

This often required attending to individual or small group needs, with a view to long-term behaviour change.

Several groups carried out extensive community engagement to better understand local interests and any barriers to participation that would need to be overcome at the beginning of their project.

Funding was awarded to cover the cost of cycling equipment, storage, training, safety equipment and some running costs.

Since the delivery of this first round of funding, Go Cycle Glasgow has partnered with Buchanan Galleries owner Landsec to provide an additional £50,000 to support the further development of projects across the city.

Using information from the initial fund, 14 organisations will continue to expand and grow opportunities for under-represented groups.

One group that received Go Cycle Glasgow Funding and took part in the evaluation was Afghan United’s (GAU) Women’s Empowerment Project.

It was a shining example of the impact relatively modest amounts of money can make, ensuring more people, regardless of background, age or ability, enjoy cycling.

Shgufta Anwar from Woman on Wheels said: “Our programme helps to build skills, overcome barriers to trying cycling, supports women with integration, tackles social isolation and reminds women they can take control of their futures.

"The additional funding from the Go Cycle Glasgow Fund has been invaluable in enabling us to continue to develop this programme.

"We are pleased to be able to share our learnings from the project with the wider cycling community and empower others to apply for future funding and set up their own inclusive sporting initiatives.”

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships were hosted in Glasgow and across Scotland from August 3 to 13 last year.

It was the first ever multi-discipline cycling event, bringing 13 UCI World Championships together, featuring thousands of world-class elite and amateur athletes and more than one million spectators.

According to the Scottish Government, the event was £8 million over budget, amounting to nearly a quarter – 22% – of the original £36 million budget that the Scottish Government had committed to.

The Scottish culture secretary, Angus Robertson, said inflation was to blame for the extra World Championships costs.