£50 million for the Black Country or let the cyclists freewheel to a win?

We’re in the final days before voting closes for the People’s £50 Million. I’m backing the Black Country Urban Park. First because they’re our neighbours and also because it is a remarkable part of the country – with huge potential for being home to a better way of living.

But, if the blogosphere is anything to go by, perhaps the national Sustrans cycling and walking network is in the lead. (Update – thanks to Nunovo for some work suggesting this may be the case – see comments on this post.) Of course it matters less to more places, whereas the Black Country bid matters much more to fewer places.

With this in mind Jon Bounds and I are using upyerbrum to help promote the cause and encourage you lot to vote for the Black Country Urban Park over three other competitors (ops did I forget to link to them!) for this £50 million slab of the Big Lottery Fund.

We’ve already created a Facebook application (add it please and message your mates – they can use it to link to the vote). Now we bring you this stylish yet simple animated badge (look right) which you can add to your blog or website. Find the code here.

I imagined the campaign would all hinge of the phone vote at the end of this week. But the programmes on ITV 1 have been shown late – after the local news. As a result of the low audience and low energy of the TV side of the competition I think the winners will be those who get their networks voting. So who’s out there Standing UP for the Black Country?

First thank you Duncan Borrowman for changing your vote – and all on the basis of a reasoned argument from Colin Ross in Wolverhampton. Thank you also to Granny’s Buttons who cogently argues that any and all canal towpath users should Stand Up for the Black Country.

Next on the list is the irrepressible Donato at Bostin, who’s been using his Facebook group and his Myspace friends to yell his support. Spaghetti Gazetti is also firmly onside, along with the Halesowen Innuendo Society (and yes do look away if you’re squeamish). Bridgette McKenzie isn’t sure which way to go – (vote Black Country Bridget) while Toyah is shouting for us online. Passionate Media are (is?) not only voting the right way they’re also sporting our blog badge (thanks).

Dave Radcliffe (a Lib Dem) takes a pop at the Minister (Labour) for the West Midlands for supporting the Black Country when the Sustrans project will bring minor benefit to Brum. Nonsense Dave, £50 million iin the Black Country will have far more benefit to Brum. Telford seems to share that vision whilst Birmingham is fudging it’s support in a very positive way.

Pete at Created in Birmingham has already voted for Sustrans (update/correction is most supportive of this project – see clarification below) – but (like Birmingham Council) also wanted to point to the Black Country campaign. Local politicians should be linking like mad – just as Steven Frear and Bob Piper are (very polite Bob) and of course the bid has p-p-p-picked up support from Political Penguin with a fab sideshow of images.

So please use the badge, vote, email your friends, Facebook your chums Myspace your mums. Please just do it.

Others I’ve missed supporting the Black Country Urban Park

West Brom Blogger.

Neil Dixon.

Russ L at Oh.


BiNS goes all Black Country it’s Not S**t, despite this earlier post railing at regen lotteries.


  1. nunovo says:

    Well golly gosh, that’s a list of links that should show up on the BlogPulse graph I mentioned a week ago. Let’s see what it looks like now.

    What a mess! but those spikes are where the words people and millions have been used within the same post – most of which are not referring to the Lottery project. It seems as though “Black Country Urban Park” is edging out the others.

    Whereas earlier in the week I was seeing more widespread support for the bike network (which is a good thing!), I am still hopeful the Black Country Urban Park will take it.

  2. Pete Ashton says:

    Just for the record I haven’t voted for Sustrans. I haven’t voted for anyone and probably won’t as the whole voting thing really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I realise this is stupid and short-sighted of me but, hey, I never said I was perfect.

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