The Essex Cycle Grant is provided by Active Essex and Essex County Council to support organisations throughout the county engage with more people to get them cycling. This can range from those needing support learning to ride or accessing a bike, to those who’re more confident wanting to explore more of Essex on two wheels. We want to increase local, inclusive cycling opportunities and target those who aren’t regular cyclists, or are new to cycling, to regularly take part. The money can be used to start up new activities or increasing the numbers attending existing activities.

Please read all of the points below before downloading the application form at the bottom of this page.

Funding Criteria:

The Essex Cycle grant aims to fund long term sustainable projects that require none or very little funding from the Essex Cycle Grant after a period of 1-5 years (dependent on the scale of the project), to enable them to be self-sufficient in the long-term.

The Essex Cycle grant can fund 100% of project costs in the first year (within maximum grant fund budget set). We may offer continuation grants in future years if your project is successful and requires additional funding to continue. This will be at reduction of 25% of your total project costs each year.

There is no limit on how much you can apply for, although we expect the average award to be £3,000 so the grant can reach as many organisations and people as possible. The grant is for organisations who are willing and able to take immediate action to reach people who can benefit from cycling, particularly those who have become less physically active since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Applications that are focused on the key funding priorities below are more likely to receive an award.

Funding priorities:

We will prioritise applications that target people who have become physically deconditioned because of the pandemic. We also want to work on more targeted projects to help diversifying the target audience who typically engage in cycling.

We will prioritise applications that engage:

  • older people
  • disabled people
  • people with long-term health conditions
  • ethnically diverse communities
  • those with poor mental health
  • Low Socio-Economic Groups
  • women

Major mass participation sporting events like RideLondon-Essex inspire people to get active, bring people together and ignite communities. RideLondon-Essex came to the county for the first time in May 2022 and returned for the second time in May 2023, in a three-day cycling event that includes elite cyclists and also members of the public in a mass participation event. Although the mass participation cycling event starts and finishes in London, 65 miles of this route is on Essex roads as the ‘Host County’ for the event.  Two stages of the women’s elite race was also held solely on Essex roads. It is therefore an opportunity not to be missed for Essex to use this event to inspire and support people in Essex to take up cycling as part of a healthy, active, and environmentally sustainable lifestyle. The Essex cycle grant hopes RideLondon-Essex will:

  • Raise profile of walking and cycling
  • help ECC raise awareness and generate excitement around the event in local, hard to reach communities. Help share messages to the more unlikely audiences
  • help build community cohesion on the back of events
  • Encourage local organisations and clubs to support the activation of RideLondon-Essex. We hope to enable local organisations to use RideLondon-Essex to try and attract new individuals and communities to get involved in the lead up to the event weekend (end of May).

Essex is one of the largest counties in England – both in terms of area and population – with a diverse make-up from the rural north of the county to the urban developments of the Thames Gateway. To treat Essex as a homogeneous whole is to ignore the significant variation in wealth, health and environment between our different communities. Through the levelling up Essex agenda areas of Basildon, Brentwood, Canvey Island, Chelmsford, Colchester, Rural Braintree, Tendring and Harlow have been highlighted as areas of focus, therefore more priority will be given to projects being delivered in these areas.

Who and what we will fund:

We will fund any organisation that can offer appropriate cycling support and activities, especially for residents who may now be less active due to the pandemic.

We can fund anything from instructors, premises, equipment, marketing and promotion.

Funding requires recipient bodies to have a recognised constitution in place.

The funds cannot be used for:

  1. Activities promoting religious or political beliefs
  2. Individuals
  3. Any private businesses or profit-making organisations unless they are a Social Enterprise or Community Interest Company,
  4. Sole traders

Applications on behalf of workplace cycling initiatives and school-based projects will be considered. School based projects should be delivered out of curriculum time, however, our children and young person lead, may signpost you to more appropriate funding where necessary.


Complete the short and simple application form, by downloading the below and emailing it to

We don’t require any supporting documents to be submitted with your application, but we will require proof of a safeguarding policy if you are successful with your application and work with children, young people, or vulnerable adults.

Please relate your application to the fund priorities and let us know how many less active people you plan to engage and who they are. Tell us how much money you need and what it will be spent on. If you have any questions before you apply, please contact the Sustainable Travel Planning team:

*Please note that the panel for reviewing Essex Cycle Grant applications meet on the 3rd Friday of every month. Applications received in adequate time before these panel meetings will get assessed and feedback on outcome will be communicated with the project lead as soon as possible after this meeting. Applications received after this date will be reviewed at the next monthly panel meeting.*

Download the application form
Download the guidance notes

To take a look at previous schemes/projects which have been funded through the Essex Cycle Grant, click here.

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