KPT Development Trust

KPT Development Trust is a community-based organisation, representing the villages of Keir, Penpont and Tynron in rural Dumfries & Galloway.

The development trust supports the economic and environmental regeneration of the three communities and aimed to overcome a big barrier to more people cycling: a lack of confidence and access to training. Alongside this, residents in Keir, Penpont or Tynron weren’t aware of accessible routes in the vicinity of the three villages.

The development trust applied to and was successful in receiving £11,000 of Cycling Friendly funding.

This funding provided training sessions and provided interpretation boards, including maps with beginner-friendly cycling routes for each village, three bike repair stations, training, and cycle shelters. A joint funding between Cycling Scotland and Energy Saving Trust has covered ebikes.

Senga Greenwood, Development Officer with KPT Development Trust said; “It’s been so encouraging to see an older age group get mobilised and start cycling. There has been an uptake on that demographic buying e-bikes, which gives them further confidence to cycle longer distances. We also ran family friendly cycling sessions with primary pupils and parents, and that’s resulted in more families doing bike rides as a group, which is great to see.”

There’s been an increase in confidence and skills to ride more. The bike maintenance stand was used in the bike skill sessions and this equipment is used by locals and cycling visitors.

The funding has helped to address inequalities in the local community, with volunteers delivering training to children whose families don’t have access to a bike.

The Cycling Friendly funding complements the wider sustainable ambitions of the development trust: they run a Carbon Reduction group, and have built a hydro power scheme, an e-bike scheme and actively encourage cycling and walking in all three villages.

In addition, they’ve been working with Sustrans to build an Active Travel Path from Penpont to Thornhill and are in the final stages of funding and land agreements. This will connect communities, encourage cycling to school and help residents access amenities such as shops and a medical centre.

Speaking on the support provided, Senga said: “the Cycling Scotland process was very straightforward, and any time we had questions, the funding team was very prompt and helpful in their responses. The online application is user friendly and easy to navigate through, and I really liked that you could save and go back, meaning you had time to research and gather the correct information at each section.”

The group has achieved the Cycling Friendly Community Silver award; speaking of the impact of cycling in the community, Senga said “our main aspiration is that we change behaviours to get more people cycling, and enjoy the inherent benefits of a long-term lifestyle choice.”