Community transport operators in England have been invited to compete for this new £25 million fund for a new minibus to be supplied to them. The stated purpose of the fund is to support the community transport sector in continuing to deliver vital services to those communities who may not be serviced by a commercial bus service.
The fund is open to community transport operators who provide a service to their local community which may not be otherwise run by commercial bus operators. The fund is not open to Local Authorities. The fund is open to those who hold a permit under section 19 of the Transport Act 1985 to run not-for-profit services of benefit to the local community. Bidders will need to provide a copy of the permit when completing their bid. The government are particularly keen to support rural services and bids from rural areas will be favourably scored.
Successful bidders will need to be clear that the vehicle provided is going to be used for voluntary services only and not used to compete for commercial or tendered contracts. The community transport operator must be established and able to demonstrate that they are running a service to benefit the community.
Bids need to be submitted by 15 January 2015. Initial confirmation of interest from bidders has been requested via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 December 2014.