VIDEO: Nearly 100 bikes donated from Harrogate homes in Yorkshire cycling scheme
Nearly 100 bicycles have been donated to a scheme which will give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike, thanks to a Harrogate business.
The Welcome To Yorkshire and Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries Scheme was launched in summer 2015, in the wake of Yorkshire's Tour de France Grand Depart.
The concept was to ask people across the region to donate their outgrown and unloved bikes, in a bid to give every young person and child in Yorkshire access to a bicycle for free.
Nearly three years on, Harrogate business, Synergy Automotive, has been helping the scheme get over the finish line by becoming a 'donation station' here in Harrogate.
Paul Parkinson, MD Synergy, said: "We had a meeting with Welcome To Yorkshire early this year, which was about launching our Y30 partnership and I said I really like that bike riding scheme.
"I love the idea that people have all got old bikes in their shed or garage which are outgrown or a bit unloved, so I thought why don't we get involved, become a donation station and give it a go.
"We've been running it for about six weeks as a programme. You've helped us tremendously in the newspaper and Stray FM have supported us, we've gone to all of our network of suppliers and friends and customers, we've had a lot of support and this is the result.
"It's great, we can provide the bikes, which go away to be refurbished, those bikes then get used in the bike library scheme for people that don't have access to a bicycle.
"It feels like we're all pulling together."
Visiting Synergy's headquarters at Hornbeam Park to see the bank of bikes donated, Sir Gary Verity said that last year, more than 50,000 children in Yorkshire had the opportunity to ride a bike thanks to the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries
Sir Gary said: "I think it's fantastic what Synergy Automotive have done coming up with this scheme where people can donate their bikes here. Nearly 100 bikes have been donated here which will go towards the 5,500 which have been donated across Yorkshire already.
"We're going to be the first place in the world where every child, no matter their social background, has access to a bicycle. We're about 70 per cent of the way there to achieving that, we have nearly 50 bike libraries now across the county.
"We had the idea when we started to bid for the Tour de France back in 2012, so it's coming to fruition now and that's down to the generosity of the people in Yorkshire and also many businesses."
In Harrogate the bike library is based at Harrogate Town Community Foundation on Laundry Road in Starbeck.
But Manager of the Bike Libraries Scheme, Rachel Davies said the project is looking for even more bases in the district and encouraged other local organisations to get involved.
She added: "We have 49 libraries across Yorkshire in total and we're soon going to be launching the 50th one in Hawksworth Wood in Kirkstall, which is really exciting.
"It's like a book library, so you turn up, you borrow a bike, as you would a book. Some of the libraries it's just for a day, some its for a week. Some say take it for the whole school holidays and bring it back in September, they all operate really differently in terms of their setting.
"It was launched as a legacy back when the Tour de France came to Yorkshire in 2014, and this is a lovely long-lasting legacy four years on, the concept that every child has access to a bike for free."