The Yorkshire Bank Bike Library scheme has opened two new libraries - one at Middlesbrough Cycle Centre and one at Middlesbrough Environment City - which will offer free bike loans for children and families, as well as guided rides and support with Bikeability in schools.
Old and unwanted bikes can be donated to the scheme where they will be repaired and restored by students from TTE Technical Training Group, before being loaned out to children and families that don't have bikes of their own. Stolen bikes recovered by Cleveland Police will also be donated to the project.
The project was officially launched today by Tony Parkinson, Chief Executive of Middlesbrough Council, Mayor David Budd and Councillor Lewis Young, the Council's Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport.
Councillor Young said: "Cycling's a big part of life in Middlesbrough, and our hosting of the Tour de Yorkshire earlier in the year showed just how popular the bike is with local people.
"For many years we've done everything we can to support cycling, whether it be for sport, recreation or commuting, and these new Bike Libraries will ensure more young people can get involved from an early age than ever before."
The scheme is sponsored by Yorkshire Bank and run in collaboration with Welcome to Yorkshire's cycling initiative, Cycle Yorkshire.
It aims to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike and sees unwanted bikes donated at one of the county's 49 donation stations, where they are then repaired and available to hire free of charge.
Since the first Yorkshire Bank Bike Library opened last year, 33 have launched across the county, while more than 26,000 chances to ride a bike have been offered to children and around 4,500 bikes have been donated.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "The Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries is a truly unique scheme designed to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike, regardless of their circumstances. Donating your old bike to the scheme is a very simple task, but it is one that could change a child's life forever.
"I am delighted to see a new Bike Library opening in Middlesbrough after we brought the Tour de Yorkshire here earlier this year and hope it will inspire the next generation of cyclists."
Helen Page, Propositions and Marketing Director at Yorkshire Bank, said: "We are delighted to support the set-up of additional Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries across the county. Giving more children an opportunity to have access to a bike is something we feel passionately about."