A new bike recycling, repair and reuse project will see thousands of unwanted bikes across the north east saved from scrap and instead given a new lease of life in support of local people and causes.
Launching this weekend, on Saturday, 10th June, is a network of local partners known collectively as ‘CycleHub.Org’ that will transform old, donated bikes into refurbished models ready for resale for worthy causes.
Over the past year, Regional Transport Partnership Nestrans, has been working alongside two local charities; Stella’s Voice and Gordon Rural Action, as well as social enterprise Angus Cycle Hub CIC, to deliver the project.
Unwanted bikes can be dropped off at locations across Aberdeenshire and will then be assessed and refurbished at repair workshops. Bikes will then be resold at discounted prices or, via a referral scheme, given to children to who otherwise might not be able to own their own bike.
The two charities are the first of what is hoped will be a growing network of CycleHub.Org partners to offer the service across the north east. Stella’s Voice, which has shops in Peterhead and Aberdeen, as well as others around the UK, supports vulnerable people at home and abroad through a range of services. This includes supplying affordable second-hand goods through its stores in the UK, as well as raising money for humanitarian aid and human trafficking prevention. Huntly-based Gordon Rural Action has been providing residents with confidential, free, and impartial advice on matters including debt, benefits, and employment for over 40 years. As part of the project, the charity recently opened its new store ‘The Bikery’ in Huntly, selling recycled bikes and offering maintenance and repairs.
Both charities received funding and support to develop premises to store, repair and resell the bikes, as well as funding Velotech bike maintenance training for staff. The knowledge and skills of those at Angus Cycle Hub CIC has been instrumental in the project’s fruition. The not-for-profit organisation, which has existing locations in Dundee and Arbroath, provides bike servicing and recycling, new and used bike sales, bike hire, as well as community events to promote active travel.
The set up of the project has been possible thanks to a successful funding bid from Nestrans in 2022 to the Scottish Government’s Regional Transport Partnership Active Travel Grant. Nestrans has also been successful at gaining further funding from the 2023/24 Grant to allow the project to continue to grow, with the hope of more north east partners joining in future.
Celebrating the launch, events will take place on Saturday 10 June at The Bikery in Huntly and Stella’s Voice in Peterhead. Both organisations will be open for the public to visit from 10am – 4pm, with lots of refurbished bikes available for sale, and bike experts on hand.
Councillor John Crawley, chair of Nestrans said, “This is a fantastic project which we’re really pleased to see up and running. Beyond its environmental benefits by reducing the number of unwanted bikes going to landfill, it’s a key step in ensuring that access to a bike is a possibility for people across the north east.
Laura McNeil, Bikery Project Co-ordinator at Gordon Rural Action said, “We are delighted to be part of the CycleHub.Org community, with the support of Nestrans we have been able to launch our new shop in Huntly, save hundreds of bikes from entering landfill and help people from all walks of life enjoy cycling with no barriers. We hope that the local communities around Aberdeenshire will get behind us and donate as many bikes as possible. Launching during the 100th annual bike week celebration makes this extra special”.
Angus Cycle Hub CIC director Scott Francis said “We are thrilled to be helping shape Bike Re-use in the Northeast of Scotland. Our projects in Dundee and Angus process over 3000 unwanted bikes per year and we estimate that there could be as many as 12,000 bikes being dumped within the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire area every year that could be benefitting local people. This project fits in with our social enterprises wider environmental ambitions of helping reduce and divert bike waste, encouraging health and wellbeing through cycling and reducing Carbon Emissions on a national level through the power of bikes!”
Please visit www.cyclehub.org for full details on each of the partners donation points, bike servicing, and second-hand bike sales.