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Research Grant Programme

Who can apply?

Through the research grant programme, we hope to help charities and organisations to make an immediate positive impact for disabled people, to develop, expand and improve transport related research for disabled people, and produce data and findings that can be freely accessed by all. Examples of areas where we are focussing our grant making include but are not limited to:

  • Grant funding for research into barriers and challenges faced by disabled people when accessing or using transport.
  • Grant funding for transport related research that identifies good practice and evaluates solutions.
  • Grant funding to conduct research to inform and improve new or existing transport related programmes and product design.

Charities and organisations can apply for grants from £50,000 to £1 million at any point over the next three years.

Why are we doing this? 

Disabled people make 38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people – a figure that hasn’t changed in the last decade. This “transport accessibility gap” tells us that there is much more that transport providers need to do to make sure that disabled people can travel across road, rail and air like non-disabled people, but to do it right, they need to know what disabled people want and need.

Investment in user-centred research and development can make a large impact for many disabled people, opening doors and making tangible differences to how they access transport in the UK. That is why Motability has identified research as a priority investment area.

Over the last year, Motability has grant funded a number of research related projects including user research carried out by disability charities to better understand the problems that disabled people face in the transport system - and how they can potentially be solved, and a PhD scholarship programme at Coventry University for disabled people and people with lived experience of disability.

From these projects we established that research is a key area in which Motability can help other charities and organisations to inform their work, be that to support a business or investment case for a new product or service for disabled people, or to influence business, decision makers and Government to do something differently.

Such is our commitment and belief in the power of quality, user centred research, Motability is also launching an Evidence Centre for inclusive transport with the aim of closing the transport accessibility gap. We believe that the scale of research, innovation and collaboration needed requires significant investment and are funding the Evidence Centre with £20 million over seven years. We are currently in the competition phase of a process to appoint a consortium of disability, transport and research experts to run the centre.

Guidance for applicants

If you would like any of the following documents in an alternative format such as Easy Read, please complete our Grants to Organisations and Charities online form and an allocated Grant Manager will get back to you.

To be considered for a grant from the Research Grants, complete the Stage One Application Form within the guidance for applicants section and email the completed form to GrantstoOrganisations@motability.org.uk. Should you have any questions, we would be happy to discuss. Complete our online form Grants to Organisations and Charities online form and an allocated Grant Manager will review and get back to you.

Please note we cannot accept or respond to applications received by any other method.

When you place an application for a charitable grant, it will be allocated to a Grant Manager for consideration. During busy periods it may take a number of weeks for your application to be assigned to a Grant Manager. Please wait for your Grant Manager to contact you to update you on the status of your application.

Grants to Charities and Organisations

Our Grants to Charities and Organisations are designed to provide even more support to other charities and organisations in areas where our research and insight has shown opportunities to have the greatest impact for disabled people.

Find out more about Grants to Charities and Organisations.

Community Transport Grant Programme

Aims to develop, expand and improve community transport options for disabled people. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Providing funding support for staff or volunteer training and costs.
  • Funding to increase the number of vehicles available in the community to help organisations support disabled people.
  • Funding local, regional, or national initiatives to increase awareness of community transport and influence its inclusion in transport strategy and policy.
  • Providing funding to schemes, programmes and initiatives that already exist, and who provide best practice solutions, but need further support to remain operational or scale up the service they can provide to help more disabled people.

Find out more about the Community Transport Grant Programme.

Wheelchair Sector Grant Programme

Aims to improve and expand access to good quality affordable wheelchairs by supporting charities and organisations working in the wheelchair sector. We are focussed on awarding grants in this area on:

  • Funding to fill current gaps in provision for groups of people who are excluded from receiving help from existing sources/providers.
  • Funding to enable charities and organisations to help individuals by topping up self-funding.
  • Raising awareness of the challenges faced by disabled people in obtaining suitable, quality and affordable wheelchairs.
  • Programmes to help fund high quality and affordable equipment.
  • Funding to schemes, programmes and initiatives that already exist, and who provide best practice solutions, but need further support to remain operational or scale up the service they can provide to help more disabled people.

Find out more about the Wheelchair Sector Grant Programme.

Active Travel Grant Programme

Aims to help charities and organisations to improve and expand access to quality and affordable active travel equipment and journeys. Examples of areas where we are focussing our grant making include but are not limited to:

  • Providing funding to ensure the voices and needs of disabled people inform and influence design requirements, and crucially, that they are shared with industry and Government to raise awareness.
  • Providing funding of charitable programmes that introduce disabled people to different active travel products and services.
  • Supporting existing programmes that have a clear focus on increasing travel confidence and safety for disabled people, to enable them to confidently use active travel products and services.
  • Providing funding to schemes, programmes and initiatives that are already successful in supporting Active Travel and provide best practice solutions but need further support to remain operational or increase the service they provide, to help more disabled people.
  • Providing funding to programmes, charities or organisations to help fund more high quality and affordable active travel equipment for disabled people.

Please note, these grants are for charities and organisations only. Individuals cannot apply for help with Active Travel. We cannot award grants towards competitive sport.

Find out more about the Active Travel Grant Programme.

Your questions

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