Bike library funding aims to saddle Yorkshire children with health and happiness

Cyclist Lizzie Armitstead promotes Yorkshire Bank's Bike Libraries. Picture: SWPix
Cyclist Lizzie Armitstead promotes Yorkshire Bank's Bike Libraries. Picture: SWPix
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COMMUNITY groups across Yorkshire are being invited to join in the cycling revolution that is sweeping the county by starting up their own bike library.

A third round of enterprise funding has been made available to help not-for-profit organisations open up a bike library and help give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike.

There are already 21 Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries up and running and 8,300 children have so far had their first experience of cycling by using the 2,000-plus bikes donated by members of the public.

The bike library scheme is run by Welcome to Yorkshire in partnership with Yorkshire Bank and provides support and training to groups and individuals to give young people the chance to enjoy the thrills of riding a bike.

Applications are now being sought from groups and individuals in North, South and East Yorkshire: the project can offer marketing and PR support and has a network of ‘Donation Stations’ to help libraries source bikes.

Helen Page, propositions and marketing director at Yorkshire Bank, said: “The first two rounds of funding have enabled thousands of children to discover the excitement and freedom of riding a bike.

“As the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries expand further we’re very keen to support the set-up of more bike libraries, enabling more children to access bikes across the county.”

The chairman of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity, said: “The third round of funding is an ode to the success of the Bike Libraries and brings us even closer to our goals of giving every child in Yorkshire the chance to discover the joy of cycling. We hope the libraries and the Tour de Yorkshire continue to excite and inspire young people across the region.”

The first two rounds of funding helped existing groups to expand and attracted new volunteers who have set up cycle coaching, maintenance and safety classes at their local community centres and schools.

Each library is different and some offer short- and long-term loans, skills and training sessions, family rides or specially-adapted bikes. Applications are welcomed from all types of community groups.

Anyone interested in applying for funding before the March 4 deadline should click here.

Unwanted bikes in any condition are still needed across Yorkshire: to find your nearest donation station click here