Date: 25 Mar 2021
There’s a new lease of life in store for 100 used Belfast Bikes, thanks to 15 Belfast based social enterprises, co-operatives and charities.
Belfast City Council recently upgraded its popular public bike share fleet, leaving a surplus of used bikes. The opportunity to re-use these bikes for community benefit was promoted to the city’s social enterprises, co-operatives and charities in January and generated a fantastic response.
Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, Councillor David Brooks explained: “Thanks to funding from the Department for Communities’ Capital Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme, we’ve introduced 450 SMARTbikes to our Belfast Bikes fleet – this left us with a surplus of used bikes.
“We knew that the city’s innovative, resourceful social economy organisations and charities would be able to upcycle them to sell on or gift to the local community, strip the bikes for parts, or come up with an entirely new use that would create a positive social impact – but we were absolutely bowled over by the positive response we received.
“It’s wonderful to see these bikes getting another lease of life, and bringing real benefits to people in local communities. These organisations are helping us to create a greener, better connected Belfast by reusing these bikes rather than dumping them, and they’re also encouraging more people to get around the city by bike – which will benefit both their physical and mental wellbeing. It’s a win-win all round!”
Several of the organisations that have benefitted spoke of how grateful they were to give the bikes a good home:
Reverend Adrian Green from Mount Merrion Parish Church said: “These bikes will provide transport for our youth and children’s team as they work in the local area and several bikes will be used as part of our community fitness hub as we seek to promote physical wellbeing in all ages.”
Ciaran McNeill, Ligoniel Improvement Association commented: “The Belfast Bikes will be a huge asset to the Ligoniel community not just for health and recreation purposes, but for their overall wellbeing.”
And Jennifer from charity Tools for Solidarity added: “It’s encouraging to see local authorities getting involved in green development. Rather than throw them away, they offered the bikes to charities and organisations. For me, that means a lot, because at Tools for Solidarity, we’re doing the same - only with high quality refurbished tools and sewing machines.”
For more information, go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfastbikes