PEDAL POWER: pedal powered cinema launch at Northwich college

2:00pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

By Gina Bebbington

INSPIRATION and innovation are changing perceptions for students in Northwich and furthering the cause of two-wheeled transport.

Engineering, fitness and film have combined in a major project to create a pedal powered cinema and tell the story of cycling.

The project is being run by sustainable transport charity Sustrans in conjunction with Mid Cheshire College, whose engineering, media and sports students have joined forces to celebrate the humble bicycle.

Media students have started work on a series of short films to promote the importance of active travel and uncover the history of cycling and bike culture in the area, which will be shown on the pedal powered cinema built by engineering students.

This equipment was put together to launch the project on Wednesday with sports students pedal powering a screening of the UK film 'Bicycle'.

The launch was attended by Stuart MacLean, executive producer of 'Bicycle', and Adrian Derbyshire, a British wheelchair fencing champion who spoke to students about his plans to hand cycle around the UK to raise awareness about hate crime.

The audience at the event also discussed how the bicycle could help ease transport problems in Hartford, a village that contains 12 schools and colleges and around 4,000 children, many of which travel by car.

Stewart Walsh, project officer for Sustrans, said: "By making their own films about people on bikes they are raising awareness of active travel and questioning current modes of transport.

"Hartford campus has high levels of traffic, which creates issues for families' health and wellbeing.

"If more people walked or cycled to school or college it would be a much better environment for everyone."

Richard Hollywood, principal of Mid Cheshire College, said: "The quality and diversity of the work that our students can achieve never ceases to amaze me.

"Along with the help of Electric Pedals and Sustrans, who have guided them fantastically through the process, all of the students have achieved quite a feat in getting the film up and running.

"Sustrans is a truly worthwhile charity that will benefit all of our students in many ways and we look forward to working with them in the coming months."

The first of three TRY Cycle festivals was also held at the college on Monday to give students chance to try out a variety of cycling innovations and meet community cycling champions and organisations.

Further events will be held on October 6 and 13.

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