€3 million Upcycling Initiative for Bicycles and E-Bikes

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD have today announced the launch of a three-year pilot initiative for the provision of high quality up-cycled bicycles and e-bikes for those on low incomes and/or those who are most marginalised and disadvantaged.

Funding of €3 million is being provided by the Department of Transport for this initiative over a three-year period and will be made available through the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Community Services Programme.

Announcing the scheme Minister O’Brien said

“This scheme will provide a vital transport option to those on limited incomes. Access to bikes and e-bikes can open up a whole range of new opportunities.”

“People will be able to travel further for work, to socialise, to engage with services or simply to enjoy cycling as an activity. In addition, this scheme will also provide training and employment opportunities for those who may have had difficulty accessing the mainstream labour market.”

“An associated benefit of the scheme will be a reduction in the number of bikes going to landfill as a result of recycling and reusing bikes through the social enterprises engaged on the scheme.”

Minister Ryan, whose Department will provide the funding for this initiative, said

“I am delighted to provide €3m to fund this Pilot Bike Initiative. It’s an innovative idea that makes economic, environmental and social sense.”

“This is an important step towards fulfilling the commitment in the Programme for Government to widen the scope of the Bike to Work Scheme.”

“It will make the purchase of a bike more accessible to those on lower incomes or outside employment, meaning that cycling will become a viable option for more people around Ireland.”

Applications are now being sought from eligible organisations for inclusion on this programme. Organisations eligible to apply are those currently supported under the Community Services Programme or alternatively are in a Partnership/Consortium of which at least one member is currently a CSP supported organisation. It is envisaged that the pilot will support up to 6 social enterprises in 2021.

Minister O’Brien concluded:

“This exciting new pilot initiative is a significant step forward towards fulfilling yet another commitment in the Programme for Government. I am looking forward to reviewing the impact of this innovative scheme over the next three years.”

Full details of the scheme and the necessary application form are available here. Proposals should be submitted to csp@drcd.gov.ie using the application form by noon, 28th May 2021.

Any queries in connection with this Call for Proposals process can be emailed to csp@drcd.gov.ie .

Review of Community Services Programme

The CSP currently supports community-based organisations to provide local social, economic and environmental services through a social enterprise model, providing a contribution towards the cost of staff in CSP organisations. It typically supports organisations to meet local service gaps and provide access to services and facilities that would otherwise generally be unavailable.

In 2020, Indecon International Economic Consultants were engaged to carry out an independent review of the CSP. The final report was published in late September 2020 with a High Level Action Plan, prepared by the Department and Pobal. The Department and Pobal have now commenced work on the restructuring of the Programme. Pending the transition to the new restructured programme, the open Expression of Interest process is now closed. It is expected that the new Programme will facilitate new entrants via targeted calls to address identified gaps in service delivery.

Details of CSP supported organisations

Full details of CSP supported organisations and contact details are available at Pobal’s website.

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