CRNI is delighted that so many of our bicycle members — An Mheitheal Rothar, Cork Community Bikes, Deaf Enterprises, Rediscovery Centre and Renew Enterprises — were awarded funding under the Pilot Bike and E-Bike Upcycling Initiative. The pilot initiative was recently introduced by the Department of Rural and Community Development in conjunction with the Department of Transport to develop a scheme for the provision of high quality upcycled bicycles and ebikes for those on low incomes and/or those who are most marginalised and disadvantaged.

The pilot fund will be administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development as part of its Community Services Programme, with funding of up to €3m provided by the Department of Transport over a three-year period.

The pilot will support a number of social enterprises in 2021 and will, depending on the level of success of the pilot, seek to bring additional organisations into the initiative in 2022.

Fourteen applications were received and the five applicants approved for support under this pilot initiative are:

The Rediscovery Centre & Rothar Velo in Dublin 9.
Frontline Bikes/ Frontline Make Change in Dublin 8.
Treo Port Lairge CLG (aka Renew Enterprises) in Waterford.
The Life Cycle Consortium in Galway – Westside Resource Centre and An Mheitheal Rothar.
Sign & Cycle in Cork – Cork Community Cycles & Deaf Enterprises.

Minister Joe O’Brien TD of the Department of Rural and Community Development said:

“I would like to thank all those who submitted applications under this pilot initiative and I welcome the geographical spread of the successful organisations.

“The successful projects were chosen because they are very innovative and outline a model that has the potential for replication on a nationwide basis, thereby supporting the Programme for Government commitment to widening the eligibility of the Bike to Work Scheme to ensure that bikes are more accessible to those in our society who are most disadvantaged or marginalised. It is envisaged that the pilot projects will also provide training and employment and will help reduce the number of bikes going to landfill. These outcomes combined with the wider environmental and health benefits of increased bike use ensure that this pilot is a vitally important scheme and one I very much hope to build on over the coming years.”

Minister Eamon Ryan TD of the Department of Transport, whose Department will provide the funding for this pilot initiative, said:

“Bikes will get a second life, and the people building them will provide a vital service in their communities with these pilot projects. The demand for bicycles, parts and maintenance far exceeds supply in many places around the country. This scheme keeps valuable materials in circulation, builds local expertise, and will shorten the turnaround time for those who have come to rely on the bicycle as a convenient way of getting around.”

Minister O’Brien concluded:

“I am looking forward to assessing the impact of these innovative pilot projects over the following three years, not only on the environmental impact but also in relation to the training and employment opportunities that will arise from this initiative. I wish the five successful applicants every success in their endeavours”

Sources: Department of Rural and Community Development press release here and Irish Independent article here.

Photo: Minister O’Brien & Minister Ryan announce launch of €3 million Pilot Bike and E-Bike Upcycling Initiative. Photo by Maxwells.

  • July 22, 2021

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