Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 14.53.18A group of young cyclists have moved a step closer to their dreams of competitive racing after a generous donation from a local wind farm operator.

EDF Energy Renewables, which operates the Teesside offshore wind farm at Redcar, is supporting the Middlesbrough based Manilla Cycling club with a £1,000 grant from its community benefit fund.

The funding is set to help young riders purchase specialist cycle wear and uniforms, as well as assist with the costs of competitions and official race entries.

Tony McDonagh, chairman of the club, said: “The donation has been a huge financial help to our young riders who otherwise would struggle to fund cycling on a competitive level.

“The aim of Manilla Cycling is to provide people in the community with an opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing, as well as give our members a fun hobby and safe environment, especially for young people.

“Funding like this will enable our talented youth members to further their ambitions to become competitive and even professional cyclists. We are all looking forward to the coming season and seeing the new kits in action.”

Manilla Cycling, which was launched in 2013, is an award winning cycling team made up of 30 riders from Brotton, Redcar, Eston, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Hartlepool. The group was awarded the North East title in 2014 and is run by four volunteers.

Mark Halliday, operations manager for the Teesside offshore wind farm said: “We felt that Manilla Cycling is very worthy of support because of the great impact they make on the young people in their area.

“We are delighted that the donation has already been put to good use to help five young cycling enthusiasts compete and move closer to dreams of competitive and professional cycling.”

EDF Energy Renewables operates the Teesside Offshore Community Benefit Fund in partnership with the Tees Valley Community Foundation. Through the scheme, which has supported more than 70 local causes, community groups on Teesside are eligible to apply for financial support for projects, activities and events that benefit local people.