British Cycling and HSBC have extended their partnership to 2021 ©British Cycling

British Cycling and HSBC UK have announced the extension of their partnership to 2021, with the organisations vowing to support the country to cycle more often post-lockdown.

It was announced in February that the partnership was set to conclude at the end of 2020, after HSBC exercised a break clause in the contract three years into an eight-year deal.

However, British Cycling said the organisations have now agreed to extend the partnership into 2021, with this year’s plans having been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The national governing body says the partnership has already surpassed its target of getting two million more people on bikes by the end of 2020.

The extension will see HSBC continue its support of the British cycling team on the path to the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as seeking to capitalise on the wave of enthusiasm for cycling as people return to work and school.

"British Cycling has a long-established reputation for setting and hitting ambitious targets - from winning the Tour de France to quadrupling our membership, and working with HSBC UK to get two million more people cycling is a landmark moment in our history," British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington said.

"I’m incredibly proud of what our two organisations have achieved in the past four years, and to surpass such an ambitious target given the disruption we’ve seen to our activities this year is a testament to both the quality of our programmes and initiatives and the tireless work and support of our staff, volunteers and participants.

"With the number of people cycling still significantly up on pre-pandemic levels, and the transformational Government focus we have seen on getting more people on bikes, there’s never been a more exciting time to be involved in cycling.

"We have bold plans for 2021 and beyond to ensure we harness that passion and give every community in Britain the opportunity to discover the joy of riding a bike.

"I’d like to express our thanks to HSBC UK for their continued support as we build greater sustainability into British Cycling by opening our doors to more partners who share our vision to transform Britain into a truly great cycling nation."

The decision to continue the partnership into next year is claimed to come at a unique moment with Prime Minister Boris Johnson promising a "golden age for cycling".

The partnership has reportedly seen more than two million people people take up cycling ©British Cycling
The partnership has reportedly seen more than two million people people take up cycling ©British Cycling

British Cycling says it is establishing a coalition of partners to continue to enthusiasm for cycling, with one in five UK commuters saying they are more likely to cycle to work after lockdown.

A third have said they are less likely to use the tube, train or bus.

During the lockdown, British Cycling and HSBC have offered free British Cycling membership for National Health Service workers, providing benefits to more than 1,000 people doing vital work for the country.

The organisations also set up the HSBC UK Let’s Ride Local microsite to help families get the most out of cycling during lockdown, as well as launching HSBC UK Ready Set Ride, a free online resource for parents to teach their children to ride a bike.

Advice and support were given to businesses on how they can help their employees stay active, as well as a 50 per cent discount on British Cycling Commute memberships for HSBC UK customers.

British Cycling says that while the two organisations will continue to work closely, the relationship will change so more partners can join the governing body as part of the coalition of businesses to support millions more people to get active by getting on their bikes.

"We are very pleased to be able to extend our partnership with British Cycling, supporting the health and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and communities through the COVID-19 crisis," said Ian Stuart, HSBC UK chief executive.

"From helping get two million more people on bikes to creating special support for NHS staff for their continued efforts, we are serious about creating a legacy through our partnership with British Cycling and we hope this ambitious project will fundamentally change the country’s approach to cycling."

Further details on the partnership’s plans for 2021 will be announced in due course, and it is hoped that the plans will be able to incorporate mass-participation city events which have proved popular in recent years but are not feasible amid the coronavirus crisis.