Extra cash aims to keep Biggleswade’s Green Wheel turning for next two years
Biggleswade Town Council is to grant £4,000 to help protect and promote the Biggleswade Green Wheel over the next two years.
The Green Wheel encircles the town and passes through areas of landscape, heritage and wildlife interest.
It has been developed by Central Beds Council along with the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity with support from the town council.
BRCC, which takes the lead on managing the scheme, had applied to the town council for an annual grant and at a meeting of the council on February 13, £2,000 was granted to the organisation for both 2018 and 2019.
It is one of a series of community grants given by the council each year.
The town’s deputy mayor Madeline Russell, said: “The Green Wheel is very popular. We can see it from our house and especially at the weekends a lot of people use it for walking and cycling. With the extra development being planned for Biggleswade, it’s very important that people have somewhere to go to get fresh air and exercise.
“The council feels it’s very important and we want to see it kept in good order.”
The BRCC manages a number of different Green Wheel projects in Sandy, Etonbury, Arlesey, Stotfold, Fairfield and Potton but says that declining funds from Central Beds mean it is lacking cash to support some of its office and background work on the project. This includes providing secretariat services to the BGW Development Group, supporting the Friends of Biggleswade Green Wheel group and its volunteer wardens, organising site visits and applying for funds.
There is however capital funding available that can be spent in things like, seating, cycle racks and improving signage.
The vision for the Green Wheel is clear in planning documents which date from 2013. It states: “We believe that the Green Wheel can benefit the whole community, improving health and fitness and increasing enjoyment of the countryside around the town by people of all ages.”
The town council hopes in future measures may be put in place to complete the Green Wheel by linking both sides of the A1 which cuts through it.
The council issued 25 grants to various community organisations this year to groups including Ivel Sprinter and Biggleswade Town Cricket Club.