Bristol Bike Project, which helps people from marginalised communities gain skills and independence, is on the lookout for a new premises.
Since it formed 10 years ago the co-op has been based at Hamilton House, a hub for community activities run by social enterprise Coexist. But Coexist has been forced to leave the building at the end of the year, and Bristol Bike Project will have to find a new home in 2019.
The co-op has built up a community of more than 170 volunteers and members, who gain skills by refurbishing old unwanted bicycles and donating them to community organisations so people from marginalised groups can have an independent means of transport.
It has supplied bikes to more than 2,000 people, working with over 60 organisations in Bristol, including Bristol Refugee Rights, Bristol Drugs Project and Second Step.
“We are incredibly sad that we will no longer be a part of the Coexist family here at Hamilton House,” said the co-op on its website, “but we have to see this change as an opportunity to grow the project and boost our social impact.
“The project has gone from strength to strength, and we are proud to operate a thriving community workshop and a busy bike shop. We are determined to keep serving our local community by providing bikes and mechanic skills to those who need them most, but we need all the help we can get to make sure we find the best place to do this.”
Bristol Bike Project is looking for suitable spaces anywhere in Bristol, which must be “accessible, reasonably central and affordable”, adding it could be forced to move as early as February and wants to find a new site in time to ensure a smooth transition.
Currently its shop and workshop each occupy approx 750 sq ft (1500 sq ft in total), with approx 900 sq ft externally for bike storage.
The co-op adds: “We are flexible and willing to be creative with space, for example seeking separate spaces for the shop and community workshop) but wouldn’t want to constrain our social impact or ability to generate revenue with too small a space.”
Anyone who can help can contact the co-op at [email protected]