London’s Brixton Cycles has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £40,000 towards a new home. The workers' cooperative is based in a building that is due to be demolished. A statement from the shop said the crowdfunding campaign would "save it from becoming the latest victim of the capital’s gentrification plans."
Brixton Cycles was founded in 1983. Its Stockwell Road premises is to be converted into luxury flats in 2016.
Brixton Cycles has had to up sticks once before: in 2001 rising rent prices forced the coop to leave its home in Brixton’s Coldharbour Lane. That move cost the business more than £80,000, and the figure is expected to be greater on this occasion. As a cooperative, Brixton Cycles does not have the capital to cover the high cost of moving, so the team has turned to crowdfunding. The campaign – on crowdfunder.co.uk – kicked off this evening with an official launch party at Brixton East on Barrington Road.
The launch event was supported by Brixton Brewery who donated all profits from drinks sold on the night to the campaign. Attendees also had the opportunity to win one of two new bicycles, donated by Specialized UK and a Surly from Ison Distribution.
Nearly 900 people have signed up for updates on the campaign and #savebrixtoncycles is being shared on social media.
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 are being excluded from the next chapter of Brixton’s story.
“However, with change comes opportunity and we are 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."