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Launch success for business cycling project

More than 50 Derbyshire small businesses involved in tourism supported the launch of Pedal Peak for Business at Hassop Station café, next to the Peak District National Park's highly popular Monsal Trail.

The businesses heard how they could benefit from the £150,000 grant scheme, which aims to boost the local cycling economy, by helping them become more competitive and gain a greater understanding of the cycle tourism market.

The initiative is part of the £1.49million Growing the Visitor Economy in Derbyshire programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supported by the Peak District National Park, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, and Derbyshire Dales District Council.

During the launch event, Carol Parsons, Pedal Peak for Business officer, explained how small differences can help to make the Peak District the ultimate destination for cycling and how it can benefit businesses.

She said: "We will be producing a guide to help businesses make the most of the cycling pound and running workshops and events with practical advice and ideas to enable businesses to understand the growing cycle tourism market and enhance competitiveness.

"Our Pedal Peak for Business grants offer 50% towards simple products and services so that businesses can improve their visitor offer and set themselves apart. A little low cost investment can go a long way."

The grants are for Derbyshire Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) towards purchase of fixed equipment and facilities for cyclists.

Pete and Alice McNeill from Adventure Pedlars shared their plans for their new company, based in the Hope Valley, which provides the equipment and routes needed to help people create inspiring cycling adventures in and around the Peak District and discover lesser known 'places in-between'.

Businesses also heard from Lindsay Rae, of Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, about opportunities through the Growing the Visitor Economy in Derbyshire programme and how to make use of the 'Inspired by' Peak District brand.

Helen Illingworth, from The Yorkshire Bridge Inn and Ladybower Apartments, said: "The meeting was really useful and has inspired me to revisit our offering for cyclists."

For more information about how to attract cyclists to your business, and the grant application process, contact Carol Parsons on 01629 816297, email carol.parsons@peakdistrict.gov.uk

Learn more about Pedal Peak for business grants at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/cyclegrantscheme

A Pinterest Board of ideas for the Pedal Peak for business grant scheme to inform and inspire businesses what could be done to become more cycle friendly has also been created.