Minibus fund available to rural charities

Monday, December 1, 2014 - 15:00
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Hundreds of community transport organisations are being invited to apply to a new £25 million fund to provide them with new minibuses

The Department for Transport has published full criteria for applying for the fund and organisations across England can begin to prepare their applications accordingly. Smaller operators and those who help out in rural areas will be favoured in the scheme as these predominantly lie at the heart of the local communities they serve – getting people to hospitals, towns and shops and supporting groups like the Guides and Scouts. They are particularly important in rural and isolated areas, helping people to get around and participate in local life.

Each bidder will need to undertake that the vehicle will be used only for voluntary services and will not be used to compete for bus service contracts and Community groups have until 15 January 2015 to apply, with early bids being welcomed. Bidding will be open to any community transport operator currently running not-for-profit services of benefit to their local community with one or more permits under section 19 of the Transport Act 1985.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: “Local voluntary transport providers give so much to their local area and our community minibus fund will help support their work further. This large fund will secure hundreds of minibuses and we are offering a long application time to give everyone a chance to apply. I encourage community transport organisations across England to begin preparing their applications now so we can receive as many as possible.”

The online application process will be available on the Department for Transport’s website from today (Monday 1 December 2014).

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