Yorkshire Bank Bike Library unveils quirky new location – a Victorian prison
A Yorkshire Bank Bike Library has moved into its quirky new premises where bicycles will be ‘chained up’ – Scarborough Victorian Prison.
The Coast and Dale Bike Library, which has been running for just over a year and is part of the Scarborough & Ryedale Community Cycling centre, had been looking for new premises when Scarborough Council stepped in and offered them a two-year lease on the prison.
Thanks to Scarborough Council the prison will now be home to the community bike library, where people can borrow a bike – absolutely free! Built in 1866, the Grade II-listed premises only for 12 years before it closed, and since then has rarely been used. Its claims to fame include being used as a setting for 2011 film ‘Screwed’ starring James D’Arcy and in a music video by Beautiful South singers Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott. Incredibly, little has changed inside since it was used as a prison in the 1800s, making it a fantastic piece of history. The Coast and Dale Bike Library provides a range of bikes for all ages, including adapted bikes.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Coast and Dale bike library has been such a success and provides an invaluable service to its community, so I’m really pleased it’s found a new home. “And what a fantastic new home it is – not many people will have seen inside the Scarborough Prison before, so visiting the bike library will be a great experience for two reasons: they can borrow a bicycle for free and also see inside a time-capsule!”
Helen Page, Group Innovation & Marketing Director at Yorkshire Bank, said: “Watching the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries grow from strength to strength is fantastic. Giving more children an opportunity to have access to a bike is one of the main reasons to support this brilliant initiative. It’s something we are passionate about.”
Cllr Derek Bastiman, Leader of Scarborough Council, said “The provision of cycling facilities along the Yorkshire Coast is essential in supporting our key aim to support health and wellbeing within the Borough. “The Council is also committed to the development of cycle tourism within the Borough, so when we heard that the Coast and Dale Bike Library were in need of a new home we were keen to support and felt the old prison adjacent to the Council Depot would provide the ideal home.”
Rob Brown, who runs the Coast and Dale Bike Library, said: “We’re so happy to have found a new premises as we have people coming in all the time to borrow bikes – there’s a real need for it here in the community. “This is an amazing historical building and we wanted to be able to let people look inside and enjoy it. Thankfully, Scarborough Council have helped us achieve this.”
The Yorkshire Bank Bike Library scheme was launched as a legacy of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire.
Anyone can donate a bike to the scheme, so if you think someone new can love your old bike, then visit bikelibraries.yorkshire.com for more information about where to find your local donation station – there are 58 across Yorkshire.
Once donated, the bikes are then fixed up and made available to hire for free.
Since the launch of the first Yorkshire Bank Bike Library in 2015, over 47,000 opportunities to ride a bike have been given to children across Yorkshire.