Gauging interest....a new Cycle Co-operative for London

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  • ...sunday opening would be a must, yes...

    Adebisi is pleased

  • Location is probably going to be key because you don't want to be too central, where rent will drive you under before you get so much as a hipster stroll through the door, or too far out where no one will come to. I'd imagine there are more pro's to being further out once the reputation gets up a bit and this could become THE place to go.

    I don't actually know what I'm talking about, just wanted to chime in. I'd also love to document this as it goes along, co-operatives have interested me for an age.

  • THat place is only open for a couple of hours a week though, right?

    First and third Tuesday of the month, so yeah, pretty limited.

    It's the long-running workshop supported by the LCC in Hackney. It's also on the second Tuesday of the month now (together with Transition Town Stoke Newington), in Stoke Newington. There are three workshops a month, two in Frampton Park and one in Stoke Newington. It's all run by volunteers.

  • Great initiative, Mocker. One word of warning. People have tried this again and again in Hackney over the last ten years, and the one sticking-point that it's always come down to is premises. If you somehow manage to secure affordable premises, you're good to go, but it's been very difficult. Hackney is a borough under serious development pressure and no suitable council property (at least from what we've been able to explore over the years). In the LCC in Hackney, we have long wanted to kick off a Cycling Centre for the borough somewhere central, but it's been impossible to find a building or just a shop to do it in. There's also a problem with the availability of funding streams.

    Nothing that can't be overcome, especially if you have long experience in the bike trade and could open a shop while paying commercial rent, but it's worth concentrating on solving this problem first. I'll point this thread out to some other people who might be interested but aren't on the forum that often or at all.

  • Camden! Hackney is already bikified up, spread the revolution !

  • Camden is already high rent. Hackney is going that way.
    South of the river might be your best bet IMHO.

  • There's already 2 south of the river..

  • If you want to chat with me, I've worked at both Brixton Cycles and Oxford Cycle workshop, plus another co-op in the states.

  • i will have a chat with my brother who is a motor (car) mechanic with a few contacts in and around camden. It is a long shot but sharing premises / security, esp out of hours where potentially two businesses co-exist might be feasible, if an agreement can be found and suitable space available, even if this was for the short term only say two years..

    I have no experience in co-op work but i like the idea very much, as my home is turning into a greasehole.. and the missus is fed up with all the tools, bits of bikes knocking around.. lol

  • My friends run a very simialir set-up in Deptford called

    Speak to them about how they work. They focus on training people from disadvantaged backgrounds, but also do open workshop space and just help and advise people on bikes. (plus their logo is cool)

  • Here's a set of films we made about them too, which explains how they work:­-cycle-works/

  • thanks again all.....more when theres more to tell.....working on cash flow forecasts/business plans and phonecalls to the council/development agencies today and tomorrow....

  • There's already 2 south of the river..

    who / where? i know of the co-op one in walworth.
    do you mean the deptford project one?

  • Sounds wonderful. In York there's a nice company that does that sort of thing:

    They'll happily lend tools and workshop space if they've got it. I've since moved to Oxford where I'm sure a similar thing would also exist.

    oxford cycle workshop. in cowley

    who / where? i know of the co-op one in walworth.
    do you mean the deptford project one?

  • who / where? i know of the co-op one in walworth.
    do you mean the deptford project one?

    Brixton Cycles. 28 years of co-op.

    If you haven't visited them, you might want to.

    edit- I know you've been there! Didn't you realize it was a co-op?

  • Yeah the 56a is the Walworth/Newington one I was talking about.

    Nhatt I know Brixton Cycles is a co-op, but I am more thinking along the lines of a place like Rothar or Bike Pirates that have open floors for you to go in and use the tools and stands yourself, rather than paying someone else to do it behind the counter. I think thats what the OP is aiming for. (?)

    I see Brixton Cycles as a standard bike shop, yet collectively owned by the employees / stakeholders, like Urbane Cycles.
    I guess that's actually a co-op, but when I hear the word co-op the first thing that pops into my head is an open workshop / repair space.

  • mocker, sent you a message and hope all the interest can get the project up and going

  • right...little update...

    ive had an application to the Co-operative Enterprise Hub accepted­ub/networks/enterprise-hub-advisers/

    ...and been referred to the Hackney C-op development agency for advice/support things are moving along...YAY! ; ) ....time to get busy with business plans/cash flow forecast/ etc etc, leading to a business loan application...

    not sure on the timescale, but i envisage organising a meeting at some point with all those whove expressed an interest (thanks....)

    am super excited, still early days and loads to do mind.....more as and when....


  • 2011/12 is the UN Year of the Cooperative.

    Why not contact the ICA (International Cooperative Association) or the UK equivalent for what help they might be able to give you.

  • Hey Mocker - sorry to be slow on the uptake here but I helped set up/worked in a cycling co-operative in Birmingham last year I did stuff like Bikeability, led rides, mechanics, tool club (where people pay a small monthly amount to come and work on their own bikes under supervision) and kids bike polo classes. There is a really useful list called UK Bikes which alot of Bike Co-operatives use to communicate. I'll send you the deets if you don't have them already. Until recently I was working towards setting up a cycle friendly social centre in Birmingham but I have decided to move back to London so anything I can do to help at all let me know! The paperwork and admin side of it is really daunting but worth doing properly. Also I cannot stress enough how important the right property/space is, it really was the most difficult aspect to get right and the guys at my old workshop are still trying to figure it out now. Jess

  • if there is anything I can do from abroad I would be glad to help.

    I have experience setting up budgets and bookkeeping stuff for non-profits. Although they are in canada so it may not be helpful.

    I have also help set up a budget and cash system for multiple local co-ops (again, in canada)

  • One of the things I'd thought about for finding a shop is working with some of the groups who try to reuse empty shop spaces. Ive got friends whove worked with, for example, to run community shop/art projects. If youre happy to start out with a few short term leases while youre looking for something more permanent, theyre worth talking to..

  • If this idea is still on the table, I can offer time as mechanic and odd jobs bod. Would love to learn to braze and this sort of idea is perfect if it can be got working.

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Gauging interest....a new Cycle Co-operative for London

Posted by Avatar for Mocker @Mocker