Thetford is re-cycling!

PUBLISHED: 09:55 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 21:44 07 July 2010

RECYCLING is the watchword of the millennium but people in Thetford will be encouraged to take it literally when a two-wheeled scheme is introduced.

RECYCLING is the watchword of the millennium but people in Thetford will be encouraged to take it literally when a two-wheeled scheme is introduced.

With a little hard work and dedication, scores of bikes will be “re-cycled” to encourage people to take more exercise and live a healthier lifestyle.

Bicycles will be collected from household waste sites and people are being urged to donate those they no longer use.

The Keystone Trust, based on Bridge Street, Thetford, is carrying out the scheme under its Green Ventures arm, with funding from the town's Healthy Living project, and, once refurbished, some of the bikes will be offered for sale from the Keystone Enterprise Factory on Brunel Way and the Green Ventures retail unit in York Way.

The project has secured funding of £80,000 over the two years from the Thetford Health Town monies and will raise an additional £30,000, having secured match funding from Keystone Development Trust, as well as a number of commercial enterprises, to fully fund the project.

Chief executive of the Keystone Trust, Neill Stott, said: “We take the bikes and triage them and fix the ones we can, and the ones we can cannibalise we do to make whole bikes.

“Some will be part of a social enterprise project and sold to local people at a very reasonable price and we will be working with schools and other groups to possibly provide bikes to those who can benefit from them. It's funded for two years but if we make it work financially we'll go on longer.”

Mr Stott added: “It's part of a bigger initiative in getting people moving and eating better and it's about keeping stuff out of the waste stream and it's also about creating local jobs.

“There are a lot of people who don't have a lot of cash in their pockets.”

The Thetford Healthy Living project launched last month and will include a series of initiatives encouraging people to be more active.

The government announced last year that the town was one of nine places across the county to receive extra cash to tackle obesity and other heath issues, and was granted £900,000 from the Department of Health.

Programme manager for Thetford Healthy Town Tony Trotman, added: “This is a fantastic project which will enable people who live and work in Thetford to take part in a scheme designed to improve their health and fitness.”

In the longer term, the project will also provide cycle training, bike maintenance training and hire of workshop space to further encourage cycling across the area.

Keystone Trust is now looking for bikes to repair and has already set up a workshop to house them.

Anyone with a bike they would like to donate should contact Green Ventures on 01842 821459, or 07917 395813.

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