Pledge It, Win It, Use It ! Swansea University unveils its sparkling new Santander Cycles

Swansea University’s Vice- Chancellor, staff and students got a chance today to ride one of the Santander cycles which will be a common sight on the Swansea Bay promenade if the crowdfunding competition is successful.

VC on bike

The University held an event at Fulton House on the Singleton Campus to explain more about the scheme, to show off the bikes and get interested staff and students to sign up to the newsletter which will keep them up to date with all the latest news about how they can help Swansea University to win the competition. Fulton House was buzzing as students took the bikes for a spin.

Swansea University has made it through to the second stage of the Santander Cycles University Challenge, beating stiff competition from 22 other UK universities.

Only five out of the 23 universities who entered the competition have made it through to the final stage which will see Swansea University battling it out with Birmingham, Brunel University London, Surrey and Portsmouth in an intense contest to raise funds through crowdfunding campaigns.

The two universities who raise the highest percentage of funds above their initial target will win the coveted prize of £100,000 worth of equipment and infrastructure to establish a bikeshare rental scheme for their university and community.

VC, Jayne and Craig with bikes

Vice Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies said; “ We are delighted to have reached the final round of the Santander Cycles University Challenge. This is a fantastic opportunity for Swansea and the University. Winning the competition in partnership will enable us to bring a viable bikeshare scheme to the City which will offer the whole community a wide range of benefits. We believe this will help us to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce congestion in the City and contribute to the health and wellbeing of our community.

“We can’t do it alone though. Between now and the crowdfunding closing date of 8 December, we encourage the whole community of Swansea to support this crowdfunding activity. You don’t need to make a huge donation to the scheme. Every pledge, no matter how big or small will help us beat the competition and bring this excellent scheme here to the Swansea community.”

VC and team with bikes

The brand new competition which was launched in March by Santander and partners Nextbike and Crowdfunder has been built around a revolutionary approach to how bikeshare schemes can be funded and sustained within communities across the UK. By combining the provision of resources and consultancy with crowdfunding, Santander is redefining the way that companies sponsor cycle schemes.

Swansea’s competition entry has seen University students working closely with staff in a bid to bring the Santander backed scheme to Swansea.

If Swansea University are successful, the bikeshare rental scheme will launch in March 2018, bringing with it a whole host of benefits for the entire community. This is a scheme for the whole City which everybody, including visitors, will have access to. The scheme aims to link the University’s Bay and Singleton Park Campuses, offering 50 bicycles across 100 stations at 5 hubs located along Swansea’s main cycle path. Hubs will be stationed at each campus with three more situated in between at the Civic Centre, the National Waterfront Museum and at Fabian Way Park and Ride.

The crowdfunding campaign will run from midnight on 6 November to midnight on 8 December 2017 and the two winning institutions will launch their schemes in Spring of 2018. 

Picture 1: Vice Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies trying out one of the new bikes.

Picture 2 : (l to r) The Vice Chancellor, Jayne Cornelius Swansea University Travel Plan Co-ordinator  and Craig Nowell Director of Estates and Facilities Management.

Picture 3: The Vice Chancellor and the Swansea Santander Cycles University Challenge Team.