Funding will help recycled bike shop in Accrington offer further support to communities
Active Cycles, a shop in Accrington that saves bikes from going to landfill to refurbish and sell at an affordable price, is celebrating the success of both a recent crowdfunding campaign and funding bid that will help them to provide a number of initiatives to benefit the local community.
The shop raised £39,421 in total through a crowdfunder campaign, with £12,818 of this having been awarded by Lancashire County Council’s Culture and Sport Fund.
The successful fundraising will enable the shop to provide free maintenance courses, led by qualified mechanics, to ten community volunteers. These volunteers will utilize their newfound skills to refurbish 600 bicycles and save them going to landfill, with half being donated to local community organizations, including primary schools and bikeability groups. The remaining bicycles will be available for purchase from the shop, with prices from as low as £25 for a child’s bike.
In addition, money from the crowdfunder will enable the shop to host various free sessions, ranging from essential bike maintenance classes to led-bike rides, reinforcing the shop's commitment to improving local well-being.
Active Cycles has also secured separate funding of £10,500 from Hyndburn environmental charity Prospects to host a community bike library, allowing individuals on a low income to loan bikes from the shop for a short period. Referrals to the bike library will be made by several partners, including Lancashire Women and 1st Call, run by Onward Homes.
The bike library funding will also support further led rides and the creation of a resource pack that includes local cycle routes, to help cyclists make the most of their loaned bikes.
Brian Cookson OBE, Chair of Active Lancashire’s Board and former President for the British Cycling Federation and the Union Cycliste Internationale, said, "We are really grateful to everyone who contributed to the crowdfunder for our community bike hub, including Lancashire County Council, and to Prospects for the funding for our bike library. It will support us in our goal to facilitate widespread, affordable access to bikes in Lancashire, enhancing both mental and physical well-being of local people, promoting active travel to reduce emissions, and of course saving bikes from just being put in a landfill.”
Jill Stazicker from 1st Call Accrington said, “Those who come to us for support sometimes need social integration or experience to find employment. The new voluntary opportunities and workshops at the Hub will help people acquire new skills and enhance their employability. It’s a win-win situation, with local people gaining experience while also helping the shop to deliver affordable bikes to people in Lancashire.”
Mandy Taylor from Lancashire Women, said, “Some of those we support may be apprehensive to spend even a small amount on a bike as they have not ridden for a long time and have a low income. This 'try-before-you-buy' approach, along with the suggested bike trails and led-rides, will give them the confidence to get cycling again and access the many benefits this brings, hopefully leading to them eventually purchasing their own bike from the shop."
Active Cycles is based in Accrington Arndale, alongside a charity shop also run by Active Lancashire called Active Seconds. Last year it won the Green Award at the BBC Radio Lancashire Make A Difference Awards for its work.