A NEW Fermanagh business is helping get the local community out, active and “on the road.”
Cycleback, based in Arney, is a new venture by local man Neil McLoughlin aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and to use alternative modes of travel and exercise.
Offering affordable bicycles, as well as providing bike refurbishment, Cycleback has a strong focus on community and particularly those living in social housing areas.
It also offers volunteering opportunities to help retrain and upskill those people in long-term unemployment in the area.
“Cycleback is beneficial on various levels in providing a positive impact on the local community,” said Neil. “Not only will Cycleback make bicycles affordable, it aims to tackle physical and mental health issues through exercise. I have identified the importance of potential partnership working by linking up with local care groups to make bicycles available on hire at a low rate and liaising with the local Jobs and Benefits office to target people from social housing areas, who are out of work with no means of transport.”
Neill added there was an environmental benefit to the initiative also.
“In repairing second hand bicycles, Cycleback aims at reducing landfill waste,” he said. “By working closely with statutory bodies, I hope to be able to retrieve disused bicycles from skip sites and turn them into affordable bicycles for the local community.”
The venture was started with a £1,000 grant from the Executive’s Social Housing Enterprise Investment Scheme to help provide essential tools and equipment at his workshop located close to the Skea Arney and Mallard Heights areas.
Connor Smith from the Housing Executive said: “Cycleback is a perfect example of a social enterprise initiative and how it improves lives in a local community.
Neil has gained essential qualifications and has set out a clear plan as to how he hopes to achieve success.”
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