A POPULAR scheme which transforms redundant bikes into fantastic Christmas presents for children is returning to Middlesbrough.

The scheme at the Middlesbrough Bike Academy in Albert Park has been hugely popular over the last four years.

The academy receives many donated bikes which, as part of the ‘cycle recycle’ programme, are restored by residents of Middlesbrough who get to keep the bikes and gain a qualification in the process.

However, the centre receives a number of children’s bikes which if not repaired could simply go to waste.

Mike O’Reilly, Active Travel Co-ordinator for Middlesbrough Environment City, came up with the idea of a drop in session whereby Middlesbrough residents could bring along bikes which have been outgrown or have fallen into disrepair and swap them for recycled bikes.

This year there are 15 bikes, suitable for children aged three to 11, all of which have been up-cycled and safety checked by qualified mechanics.

Any suitable bikes ‘swapped’ into the project will also receive a safety check and be made available on the day.

Each year the project recycles around 40 bikes back into the community.

Mike, who has worked in Active Travel for six years, said: “Because the scheme has been so successful over the past four years it was an obvious choice to run it again this year.

“I would urge anyone who has a child relative and wants to get a recycled bike for them to come along.

“Recycled bikes are also available for those that don’t have a bike to swap.”

The drop-in session takes place on Friday, December 9 from 10am to 3pm

For more information contact Middlesbrough Environment City on 01642 579820.