You may be aware that Recyke y’bike have been seeking alternative premises in Durham. We’ve been lucky enough to operate rent free with support from Durham County Council for several years but, with the demolition of the bus station this is no longer an option.
Commercial rents are incredibly high in Durham and shops tend to be small with poor vehicular access during the day (essential for dropping off donations or repairs and for the removal of bikes for recycling). We’ve explored leads with the university but these have come to nothing.
The lack of suitable property in Durham is one issue. The second is that, whilst the current Durham location meets two of our stated charitable objectives; saving bikes from landfill and providing affordable access to bikes, because of its size and location, it hasn’t been able to serve the socially disadvantaged or provide training to all ages in bike repairs and refurbishment which are also core objectives.
Looking to solve both of these problems we began to look at the areas surrounding Durham to see if we could find a location that would enable full fulfilment of the charity’s objectives with a population that would purchase bikes and at a rent that is affordable. Chester le Street appears to tick all of those boxes with a diverse population mix, good road, rail and cycle links and a community interested in environmental issues using the excellent Re-f-use café.
Trustees met last week and – after debate and careful consideration – the decision was taken to actively pursue the lease on a property in Chester le Street with an aim to moving in the summer of 2022. Whilst there are still many hurdles to overcome to get this property over the line, it appears to be the best course of action in order to have a continued presence in County Durham. I understand that this outcome will be disappointing news to many of our loyal customers and supporters who value having Recyke y’bike in Durham. I do hope that you can see a benefit in having Recyke y’bike remaining in County Durham albeit a few miles outside of the city. It’s been fantastic to hear from customers how much they appreciate the service provided by Dave and the team.
We’ll keep you updated as things progress over the coming months and we do hope that you’ll continue to support us in our aims to put unwanted bikes to good use, get more people cycling and more people enabled to carry out their own repairs so that more bikes can provide joy and freedom for longer.