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Students stand to benefit from the cycle scheme if the campaign is successful.

At midday today (Monday) the University of Birmingham launches an ambitious crowdfunding campaign to secure a bespoke cycle hire scheme.

As part of a national competition, the University has been shortlisted along with four others from 69 to compete for the scheme which will transform the way students and staff travel across campus and between buildings.

The University needs to raise at least £47,000 through crowdfunding in order to win an investment of £100,000 from Santander to get the scheme up and running. This would establish eight bike stations at locations across campus and 50 bikes from the outset.

Birmingham-based TOA Taxis have already put their hand in their pocket and have today committed £15,000 towards the total.

University Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator Peter Edwards said: “This is a really exciting project for us and we are totally committed to surpassing our target. A cycle hire scheme like this could really transform how people get around our fantastic campus - improving health and wellbeing and reducing emissions in the process. I can’t wait to get the campaign up and running. Thanks so much to TOA for kicking us off with such a brilliant sum. We’re off to a flying start.”

Manawar Hussian, TOA Chairman, said: “We’re proud to work with the University of Birmingham on this flagship scheme, and look forward to seeing who else joins us as high profile supporters of the campaign.”

You can access the crowdfunding campaign online and make a contribution. A contribution as little as £5 can get you a reward to mark your involvement with the programme.

The campaign starts today at midday, and completes on 8th December 2017.

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK said: “Santander is committed to supporting both higher education and local communities across the UK, and we believe that a cycle scheme, such as this one, could bring significant local benefits to the winning institutions.”

You can follow the campaign on social media using the hashtag #bikesforbrum.

For further information, please contact Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager Sally Xerri-Brooks on (+44)121 414 3984.

The competition was open to 69 of the 81 UK University partners as it excluded those already covered by an existing cycle scheme.

The universities which took part were:
Northumbria, Newcastle, Lancaster, Leicester, Essex, Swansea, Leeds, Chester, Bath Spa, Portsmouth, East Anglia, Cardiff Metropolitan, St. Andrews, Cranfield, Royal Holloway, Nottingham, York, Kent, Brunel University London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Plymouth, and Surrey.

The two winning universities will be announced in December 2017 with the scheme set to be launched in Spring 2018.

Santander Cycles now covers 100 square kilometres of London, making it the second largest cycle hire scheme in Europe. Since launching in July 2010, more than 63 million journeys have been made, with last year the most successful year in the scheme’s history, with over 10.3 million hires. Among the improvements made to the popular scheme last year were the introduction of Blaze Laserlights to all 11,500 bikes, a new Santander Cycles Business Accounts scheme, and more bikes and docking stations, including at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and more recently Brixton.

Santander, through its Santander Universities division, maintains partnerships with close to 1,200 academic institutions in 20 countries. Santander Universities was introduced in the UK in 2007 and the bank is already collaborating with 83 British Universities and Higher Education Institutions, with agreements focused on promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of students and researchers within the network.