Bike project to go on test-drive

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A YOUTH project to recycle discarded bikes in Banbury and then sell them on is set to become a social enterprise.

The Banbury youth hub initiative to repair bikes for members’ use has been so successsful that it is about to be launched as a not-for-profit company.

Cary Johnson, a qualified cycle mechanic and community worker at the Hilton Road site, said: “More than 50 young people have been involved in this project from the outset and in the six months the scheme has been running, we have stripped down, repaired and completely rebuilt 40 cycles.

“The natural progression is to give others the chance to benefit from the team’s expertise and we are all really excited about moving this project to another level.”

The plan is to test-ride the company by selling refurbished bikes to Oxfordshire County Council’s employees before eventually opening up the offer to the public.

Each month the group visits Alkerton Household Waste Recycling Centre near Banbury to claim the best discarded bikes or useful bike parts. They are then taken back to their workshop at the Banbury youth hub and transformed into second-hand bikes.

Louise Chapman, Oxford-
shire County Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and families said: “The young people involved in this project are a great example of what can be achieved with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.

“I am delighted they are now pushing forward with plans to help others benefit from their enterprising ideas. If they remain focused their plans will come to fruition.”

For information about the scheme call 01865 328440.