Belfast City Council has announced today that it will launch a bike-share scheme. The Council is confident it can sell the scheme to prospective sponsors.It recieved £699,000 last year from the North's Department for Regional Development to develop a public bike hire scheme.
However Councillor Deirdre Hargey, chairperson of the council's development committee, says the city needs business organisations to get involved with the venture.It hopes to entice business sponsorship of around £300,000 to £400,000 over a three-year period.
Hargey believes the new scheme gives companies an opportunity to develop stronger links with Belfast and could promote organisations targeting both visitors and city residents.
"The public bike hire scheme says a lot about Belfast's ambitions – it highlights the changes that are taking place in the city and the kind of city we want Belfast to be. We've learnt a lot about how other cities such as Dublin and New York operate similar bike hire schemes – we've learnt from their experiences and we know how important these schemes have been in connecting cities. For example in Dublin one of the biggest users of the scheme is the business community. Their scheme has helped connect business districts and we hope to be able to replicate that in Belfast," she told the Irish Times.