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Centre 63, a Kirkby- based community and education organisation is working in partnership with Sustrans – a leading UK charity promoting sustainable travel to deliver two innovative schemes enabling members of the public to ‘earn a bike’ through their repair and own scheme, and an opportunity to learn about bicycle upcycling, repair and maintenance.

The ‘Bike Back 63’ project has received £7,500 from Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia’s Community Fund and is using unwanted bikes from the Knowsley community, as well as buying cheap bikes from auctions to refurbish them for sale.

A proportion of bikes within the project will be refurbished and given away as a part of the project’s ‘Earn-a-Bike’ scheme. This scheme will give young people using Centre 63’s services the opportunity to learn about cycle repair and maintenance, and earn their own bike so that they are better able to access education, training and employment.

The project is working in partnership with another Community Fund project – Sustran’s ‘Eastham Centre Community Cycling Hub’ on the Wirral who received £8,000 from this year’s Community Fund, and are developing a cycling hub, cycling activities to adults with learning difficulties and the local community, and the services of qualified bike mechanic to repair and maintain bicycles and deliver maintenance courses. The two projects are aiming to share knowledge and experience

Cllr Graham Morgan, Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority said: “These great projects will have a real impact – not only in providing training and education opportunities for a wide range of the community here in Knowsley – but also encouraging people to access and use bicycles to improve their own health and wellbeing.”

Jeane Lowe, Centre 63, Chief Executive Officer said: “We have been extremely humbled by the response of the Kirkby Community in supporting our Bike Back 63 project given the fact there is no bicycle shop within our area. Funding from MWRA has been extremely influential in reducing fuel poverty, upskilling young people with bike maintenance skills and increasing active travel within the Borough.”

Nick Brelsford, Partnerships Manager at Sustrans said: “For every unwanted bicycle left in a shed there’s someone in the community who really wants to get cycling and doesn’t have a bike. These hubs are a fantastic opportunity to recycle waste materials into something valuable which helps local people travel in ways that benefit both their health and the environment.”