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Bringing hustle and bustle back to the quayside by bikes!

Exciting plans to bring people flocking to Plymouth's amazing Waterfront have been given a massive £670,400 boost through the first round of the Coastal Communities Fund.

Fresh ideas will be breathed in to key locations along the shore including Commercial Wharf on the historic Barbican which will become a destination in its own right.

Under the bid, empty fisherman's storage arches will be refurbished to enable small businesses to set up shops or cafés and encourage people to come down to a part of the Waterfront they may have just walked past before.

The bid also plans to build on Plymouth's growing reputation as a bike- friendly city, by including space for cycle hubs for bike hire – both in Commercial Wharf and the Royal William Yard.

The bid is not just about providing hire space, but also outlines plans to improve cycling paths and racks – along the waterfront to link the Barbican, the Hoe, Tinside Pool, Millbay and Royal William Yard.

Council leader Tudor Evans, whose portfolio includes Economic Development, said: "Plymouth has natural assets that most cities would kill to have. This bid plans to bring to life areas on the waterfront that have been too quiet for too long! Commercial Wharf was once a bustling location – it will be again.

"I'm also really excited about the opportunities for cycling tourists. Knowing how popular cycling trails such as the Tarka are, this is a great chance for us to attract families as well as couples and individuals to get on their bikes.

"Not only will they have fun, they get to see an exceptional city and for the softies – there will be plenty of places to stop off and eat and drink."

Duncan Currall, Chair of Destination Plymouth added: "We needed to show how Plymouth would use funding to make better use of our physical, natural, social, economic and cultural assets to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs.

"This bid encapsulates all of those and also includes opportunities for training as well creating jobs."

Chris Arscott, Chairman of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said: "We are very pleased that during our first year working in partnership with Plymouth City Council we have secured this new investment for the city. It's vital we grow our tourism economy and increased numbers of visitors will result in increased jobs and trade for our businesses."

The Council submitted the bid, but it will be delivered in partnership with Destination Plymouth, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and Plymouth City Centre Company.

The proposal used the recently launched Visitor Plan as a starting point, developing a bid focused on linking areas across the Waterfront through cycling.

The project will create new jobs, through the new cycle hire business being set up and is expected to start in the coming months and to be completed by the end of 2014. The Council will shortly invite interest from businesses or individuals looking to run the cycle hire facility.

11 February 2013