London’s oldest worker-owned bike co-op is crowdfunding to save it from falling victim to ‘gentrification plans’.
The co-op, which has been worker-owned since 1983, was last year named best small bike retailer at the London Cycling Awards. The business frequently lends tools for free and helps young people in the area take up cycling.
Brixton Cycles has moved once before, in 2001, after rising rent prices forced it to leave its home in Coldharbour Lane. That move cost the business more than £80,000. The figure is expected to be far greater this time.
The campaign kicked off on 22 October with a launch party at Brixton East on Barrington Road, with Brixton Brewery donating all profits from drinks sold on the night to the campaign. There was music by the No Frills Band and Balham Ukulele Society and the opportunity to win one of two new bicycles donated by Brixton Cycles’ suppliers Specialized UK and Ison Distribution.
Nearly 900 people around the world have signed up for updates on the campaign, #savebrixtoncycles is being shared on social media and more than 350 people have added a yellow ribbon to their social media profiles in a show of solidarity. The campaign has also been covered by Rosamund Urwin in her column for the Evening Standard.
Brixton Cycles’ longest-standing team member, Lincoln Romain, who has worked at the shop for 26 years, said: “We’re disappointed to be leaving our current premises. Brixton Cycles has played a key role in the development of this community over the last 32 years. Now we’re being excluded from the next chapter of Brixton’s story.
“However, with change comes opportunity and we’re hopeful that, with the support of our community, we can make the new Brixton Cycles even bigger and better.
“Our jobs are on the line, so we’re going to give this campaign everything we’ve got. We have amazing rewards to offer our customers and we hope that they’ll support us.”
- For more information and to support Brixton Cycles’ campaign, visit Crowdfunder.co.uk/save-