The Brixton Cycles cooperative has announced its £40,000 crowdfunding bid will go live on October 22nd.
Having stood in Brixton since 1983, the building which the store occupies is set for demolition early in 2016 to make way for a block of luxury flats.
The business, while doing well, has struggles to meet rent demands locally and is seeking the sum to assist with its moving costs.
The oldest worker-owned bike coop in London, last year Brixton Cycles was named as the capital’s Best Small Bike Retailer at the London Cycling Awards (hosted by the London Cycling Campaign). The community-focused business is much loved for keeping London’s cyclists rolling, frequently lending tools for free and supporting young people in the area to embrace cycling.
Brixton Cycles has moved once before, in 2001, after 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 far 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 their community to crowdfund their survival. The campaign will kick off on the evening of 22 October with an official launch party at Brixton East on Barrington Road.
The launch event will be supported by Brixton Brewery who will be donating all profits from drinks sold on the night to the campaign. It will include music by The No Frills Band and Balham Ukulele Society and attendees will have the opportunity to win one of two brand-new bicycles, generously donated by Brixton Cycles’ suppliers, Specialized UK and Ison Distribution (who have donated a Surly).
The shop has a well-established community of supporters and the run-up to the campaign has already gained significant attention. Nearly 900 people (around the world) have signed up for updates on the campaign; #savebrixtoncycles is being shared extensively 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 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! We have amazing rewards to offer our customers and we hope that they’ll support us.”
Brixton Cycles crowdfunding campaign will launch on Crowdfunder.co.uk on 22 October.