A PROJECT to offer 250 Clackmannanshire children a free bike has officially began.

Children aged between 10-12 years hold will be offered a free bike as well as essential cycling skills training and bike maintenance support.

The project was wheeled out across the area recently with pupils at Banchory primary school in Tullibody the first to benefit from the Bike Buddies Scheme.

Launched in 2021, the scheme is ran by charity Forth Environment Link and funded by the Scottish Government.

The innovative scheme is all about giving local young people the biking confidence and competence to make cycling part of their everyday life as they transition to secondary school.

Shirley Paterson, Active Travel development manager for Forth Environment Link, said: “It has been great to see the big smiles on the kids’ faces, especially those who have never cycled to school before.

“We know that the final years of primary school are a crucial time for establishing healthy behaviours that have the potential to last into secondary school and beyond.

“Giving kids their own bike and the skills to ride and maintain it, is a fantastic way to boost the wellbeing of our young people in the long term.”

Bike Buddies is run by the charity in conjunction with Clackmannanshire Council, Active Clacks and Recyke-a-Bike.

The roll out of the scheme has also been supported by local community groups and volunteers.