To celebrate reaching the milestone of over 500 bikes being donated to the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries, the second round of funding has been opened to create an even larger network of Libraries across Yorkshire.
The first round of funding attracted many people who have been running cycle classes for children and who wanted to expand what they do; other successful applicants include volunteers setting up cycle coaching, maintenance workshops and safety classes at their local community centre or school. The first of the Libraries will be opening their doors soon and will be unveiled to celebrate the anniversary of the Grand Départ in early July.
The Libraries, a partnership between Cycle Yorkshire, Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire Bank, are a direct legacy of the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire in 2014 and have an ambitious aim – to give every child in the county access to a bike. Cycling has a huge array of benefits for children, from health and exercise to safety and road awareness, as well as raising self esteem and being a sociable activity. The Libraries’ aim is to complement the significant work already being done across schools, community groups and cycling clubs, most of it run by volunteers, to ensure that those children who get hooked on riding a bike can continue.
With over 500 bikes donated in just a few months, the Libraries got off to an excellent start and we are now on the hunt for more bikes! If there is one languishing in the back of your garage or shed, perhaps an outgrown bike or one you simply don’t use, please find a Donation Station via http://cycle.yorkshire.com/bikelibraries/donation-stations and it will be sent to a Yorkshire Bank Bike Library to be brought back to life.
Fraser Kennedy, Head of Sponsorship & Partnerships at Yorkshire Bank, summed up the project so far and said “We were hugely impressed with the quality and reach of the community organisations which applied to the scheme for support. Cycling in Yorkshire has a very strong volunteer ethos and there is a massive army of parents, teachers and community workers working hard to get children riding bikes. We’re delighted that this funding will help the bike libraries to invest in tools, equipment and storage facilities to help get more people cycling across the county”.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This second round of funding means we are well on our way to giving every child in Yorkshire the chance to discover the joy of cycling, and combined with the incredible Tour de Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Grand Départ couldn’t have a better legacy”.
For those interested in applying for funding, please visit http://cycle.yorkshire.com/bikelibraries/enterprise-fund. Social enterprises and volunteers are encouraged to apply; applications need to be in by July 24th and there are full guidance notes on our website.