PEDAL power is hitting top gear at Inverkip Community Hub as a new £15,000-plus cycling initiative is launched.

The Kip Cycle project has been rolled out to encourage people of all abilities to discover the physical, mental and social benefits of cycling.

Kevin Rodgers, who manages the community hub, hopes people will get on their bikes and try it out.

He said: "We secured £16,095 from the Cycle Friendly Development Scotland fund which has allowed us to purchase four electric bikes and four normal bikes.

"We're also going to install a bike shelter outside and a pump station.

"The idea is that if people are beginner cyclists then we will do one-to-one sessions on the football pitch on the electric bikes or the normal bikes.

"We also have cycle-led activities where we will cycle from the community hub to Gourock along the cycle path and back again.

"It will get people cycling and socialising and it also gets people along to the hub."

The group is led by trained cycling volunteers who are keen to share their skills.

Stevie McGrath, one of the volunteers, said: "Myself and another dozen volunteers have done cycle courses to enable us to come down and take group led cycle activities.

"Inverkip is the ideal place to cycle."

Alex Wooler, from Greenock, who is also helping out, added: "It's great to see people come along who can't ride a bike but then you do one-to-one sessions with them and before you know it, you can't hold them back."

The group meets at Inverkip Community Hub every Thursday at 10am and evening sessions are being planned for the future.

For more information phone the hub on 520740.