YOUNG people’s charity Motiv8 has received £5,000 to regenerate a shop for a community bicycle centre in Gosport.
The charity beat competition from across the region in a public vote to get the cash from the Lloyds Banking Group community fund.
The cash will be used to renovate a council-owned shop near Gosport bus station, at the bottom of the High Street.
Motiv8, based in Gosport, Fareham and Portsmouth, launched the Cycling Recycling enterprise last year, helping young people aged from 13 to 19 get qualified in bicycle maintenance.
The scheme offers bikes for sale, along with a repair service and guided bike tours of the local area to members of the community.
Motiv8 business development manager Steve Nash said he was thankful to the 200,000 members of the public who voted, giving the charity the chance to continue with its work.
He said: ‘It’s absolutely fantastic for us to have been chosen by the public.
‘Awareness about our cause was raised during the Olympic Torch Relay.
‘The route came straight past our building and I think people became aware of what we were trying to do that summer.
‘The enterprise offers young people a really good opportunity to increase their employment credentials but also to get experience of the workplace they might not otherwise receive.
‘The young people we work with are those who are either attending school infrequently or not attending school at all.
‘Cycling mechanic isn’t necessarily the job they have to stay in – though we hope they go on and get qualifications in it – but it’s something to put on a CV which opens up their employment options when they are older.’
Motiv8 hopes that the money will help create employment opportunities for young adults at risk of offending and not in education, employment or training.
The charity was established in Portsmouth in 1998 as the Portsmouth Community Safety Partnership, to work with young people and encourage adults to volunteer.