UPDATE: It turns out that Brixton Cycles isn't the first bike shop to have hit a crowd funding target, with Roll for the Soul - a community bike cafe and workshop - having done the same.
London’s oldest worker-owned bike cooperative has been saved by the crowd, after a £40K crowdfunding campaign hit its target in less than a week.
Brixton Cycles – named ‘London’s best small bike retailer’ by the London Cycling Awards – officially launched its campaign on Crowdfunder.co.uk on Thursday evening (22 October) and hit its target just before 7pm last night, five days later.
The campaign’s public launch was preceded by a private preview to the shop’s nearest and dearest, on Wednesday 21st, which generated more than 25% of funds towards the crowdfunding total. The campaign now has a new target of £80,000 with 28 days left to go.
Brixton Cycles is fundraising to find a new home in Brixton, after discovering that the shop’s current premises are to be demolished to make way for luxury flats in early 2016, as part of the gentrification of the area.
The cooperative estimates the total cost of securing, renovating and moving into a new space as between £120,000 and £150,000. The initial crowdfunding target of £40K was the minimum Brixton Cycles’ needed to proceed with phase one of the move. However, support is still needed to help cover their total moving costs.
Whereas up until the £40K mark, the campaign was all-or-nothing, all funds raised from this point will be secure and will definitely be received by the team. The more money can be raised, the better the new shop will be and the sooner it will be able to open in a new home.
A launch party for the campaign held at Brixton East on Thursday night attracted more than 200 guests.
The shop has also had great support from its extended networks including the cycle trade, with suppliers (such as Specialized UK and Ison Distribution) donating brand new bicycles and parts to raise money for the campaign, local businesses (such as Brixton Brewery and Cupped) offering their time and wares, and fellow biking groups (including Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op) sending out personal appeals to their networks, requesting support for Brixton Cycles’ campaign.
The campaign has also received the endorsement of Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, bicycle icon Keith Bontrager and award-winning actor Michael Smiley, among many others.
Brixton Cycles longest-serving coop member, Lincoln Romain, who has been with the shop for 26 years, said: “The generosity shown so far has been overwhelming! We’re humbled by the awesomeness of everybody who’s supported us – from the smallest donation to the largest.
“We’ve had loads of pledges from non-cyclists, who want to support the cause and what we stand for. That’s amazing!
“But this is just the beginning. We still need help to secure our future premises and to continue our presence in the community. We don’t want to just survive, but to thrive!"
The crowdfunding campaign is live on Crowdfunder.co.uk until 25 November.