CTC – the UK’s national cycling organisation – has been awarded a major grant towards a £6.3million ?Cycling Champions? programme, which will promote cycling to sections of society less likely to choose it as a lifestyle or transport choice.

The funding will enable CTC to employ 13 new development officers for four years, who will work with community groups and partner organisations across England. The grant also gives each area a special projects fund to help new cycling activities get underway. The BIG Lottery Fund will provide £4.5 million towards the project.

CTC Charitable Trust’s Cycling Champions programme is part of a consortium of leading walking, cycling and health organisations being funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Well-being programme, which provides funding to support the development of healthier lifestyles and to improve well-being.

CTC Director Kevin Mayne said: ?This funding will enable us to set up a complete development programme to support the people who champion cycling at a local level ? the groups, leaders, trainers, charities, health trusts and local authorities who have great ideas for bringing cycling to their communities but need resources and support from someone like CTC to get started. Through them we will see thousands more people getting started on a more physically active lifestyle. The wider benefits of this experience will reach far beyond the 13 core locations.?

The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004.