Upcycling of Bicycles and e-Bikes Community Services Programme Pilot Initiative
Funder: Department of Transport through the Department of Rural and Community Development as part of the Community Services Programme
Duration: 01/01/2022 – 01/01/2025 (36 Months)
Lead on Project: The Rediscovery Centre
Partners and Collaborators: Rothar
The Rediscovery Centre is working together with Rothar on a project to revolutionise bike reuse and skills building in Ireland, by developing a new improved accredited skills training programme for professional bike mechanics and those looking to enter the sector.
The project will provide training and job opportunities to at least 4 (Preliminary) long-term unemployed people in line with the Community Services Programme (CSP) framework. This will not only benefit individuals but will also provide positive community and environmental impacts.
Furthermore, the project will see 149 upcycled bikes donated for free over 3 years to individuals who do not qualify for the existing government Bike to Work scheme in partnership with organisations working with disadvantaged groups. This will help to make cycling accessible to all and promote cycling as an alternative transport option in line with government targets. Other bikes upcycled through the project will be sold at affordable prices, to help give more individuals access to high-quality bicycles.
The growing interest in cycling, both as a way of getting around and a recreational activity, is both an opportunity and a challenge for Ireland. While bike use has seen steady growth, there have been difficulties with accessing spare parts and new bikes, a shortage of skilled bike mechanics, and limited access to affordable bikes for disadvantaged groups.
This project aims to address these challenges, helping to develop a sustainable and inclusive cycling community while providing employment, green skills development, access to affordable bikes, keeping bikes in circulation for longer and reducing waste.
From the National Cycling Policy Framework to the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, the project addresses key national and regional objectives such as increasing bike use, improving standards in the bike industry, diverting bikes from disposal / recycling, promoting sustainable transport and more efficient resource use. The project also supports UN Sustainable Development Goals, including good health and well-being, quality education, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.
The primary goal of this project is to assess and pilot a bicycle reuse enterprise and training through support from the Community Services Programme. Success will be measured by a range of factors, including the financial sustainability of the bike reuse social enterprise, the potential for replication, the design and implementation of the accredited training programme, the establishment of employment progression pathways, and achieving targets for bike upcycling and training delivery.
Rothar, renowned for its expertise with the bicycle industry, plays a pivotal role within this pilot project in the development of improvements to bicycle mechanic technical and related skills for the industry. This will not only help to build technical skills but also support personal development, empowering individuals to pursue careers in the bicycle industry. By aligning with the CSP model, the program also allows for a roadmap for national replication within social enterprises, moving beyond the mainstream bicycle industry in Ireland.
The next steps for the Bikes CSP include reaching our planned output growth for 2023 (just over 81%) and 2024 (an additional 43%). This includes reaching the quota of 20% of our output being donated to disadvantaged groups. We are also preparing for the delivery of certified bicycle mechanics training in 2024.
If you’d like to learn more about the project, please contact us below.