Charity bike business plans to cash in on Bridgerton boom

A Bath charity is launching a brand new e-bike scheme for tourists which will raise vital cash to reduce homelessness and tackle long-term unemployment.

Thanks to a grant from the West of England Combined Authority, led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris, the Julian House Bike Workshop is investing in a fleet of e-bikes which they will rent out to tourists visiting the city.

Rod Standing, the workshop manager, chatted to Mayor Dan Norris about how many people visiting Bath want to see the locations from Netflix’s Bridgerton and are disappointed to find it is spread out across the city – so an e-bike is a great way to take in all the sights.

This will be a new income stream for the social enterprise business.  Its core business is to refurbish second-hand bikes while offering training opportunities and work experience  for those wanting to re-enter the job market.  All profits go to the charity allowing it to provide more services – particularly in the areas of homelessness, domestic abuse and criminal justice.

Meanwhile there will also be additional training and workplace experience on e-bikes for those working in the bike workshop who often have a background of homelessness or long-term unemployment.

What a great way to whizz around the city! I know lockdown has presented some challenges, not least that sourcing bikes of any type suddenly became so tough due to a spike in demand. This new tourism venture is an excellent plan. It is also good to meet the team here today to hear about the amazing work they do building, repairing, servicing and selling bikes which provides a huge range of opportunities for vulnerable people to get involved. It was fantastic to meet Paul who’s turned his life around having graduated from the workshop’s Build a Bike scheme and is now working at the Royal United Hospital.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris

This grant means we can dramatically scale this project allowing us to buy e-bikes something we could not achieve without additional funding. With the resurgence in cycling, families and tourists will be able to hire a bike to suit their fitness levels and enjoy a sustainable, enjoyable and eco-friendly form of transport.

Helen Bedsor, CEO Julian House

For further details about Julian House Bike Workshop visit their website.

Press release by West of England Combined Authority.