A CYCLIST changing mindsets in Hartford is appealing for support in his bid to spread the word across the county.

Stewart Walsh, a project officer for Sustrans, is currently working to encourage pupils, students and staff at the village's schools and colleges to cycle and walk more instead of jumping in the car.

One of his projects saw Mid Cheshire College students building a pedal powered cinema, while another saw him bring pupils and students together in three bike festivals.

The Hartford project itself comes to an end in March but Stewart is keen for his work to have a lasting legacy.

He is looking into setting up a bike co-operative, called Pedal Power Experience, which would be a not-for-profit social enterprise with the aim of creating a cycling culture and healthy communities in Cheshire through fun activities.

The group would take bike experiences on tour, offering pedal powered fun to all members of the community, from children to adults and older people.

Stewart said: "This would start off initially running cycling events and activities – an event company going out and doing all sorts of stuff.

"The students at Mid Cheshire College have made the pedal powered cinema and I've asked what the legacy of that will be – we've got the basics to set up the social enterprise."

Pedal Power Experience would offer a number of activities, from a pump track and the cinema to pedal powered bubble machines, disco and mobile phone chargers.

The bike festivals at Mid Cheshire College featured many of these activities and proved popular.

Stewart said: "The bike festivals saw 3,000 interventions in the three days so it's got good proven success there."

The co-operative would have a board of directors to vote on its direction but Stewart said it could grow to have a cycle hub in the county, offer bike skills and maintenance support and bike recycling.

Stewart is now appealing for anyone who wants to get involved and volunteer skills and time to get the enterprise off the ground.

He is also applying for grant from Active Cheshire's Active Anywhere fund, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary by offering £25,000 to get people moving.

He is putting together a video which will be put to the vote on Active Cheshire's website activecheshire.org.

For more information ring Stewart on 07501 017689 or email Stewart.Walsh@Sustrans.org.uk.