As London's oldest worker-owned bike co-operative prepares to reopen in new premises, it’s been announced that they will be joined there by Look Mum No Hands! Brixton Cycles is hoping to be open for business at its new location of 296-298 Brixton Road from the middle of the month.
Brixton Cycles, which won the Best Small Bike Retailer category at the London Cycling Awards in 2014, was previously located next to Stockwell Skatepark but those premises are due to be demolished and turned into flats.
The worker-owned enterprise therefore needed to move elsewhere, but didn’t have the funds to do so. However, a hugely successful Crowdfunder campaign aimed at raising part of the moving costs saw the initial fundraising target of £40,000 reached just five days after the public launch and in the end, £62,000 was raised.
Brixton Cycles’ Lincoln Romain told Cycling Industry News that while he was initially unsure about resorting to crowdfunding, he was struck by the response and believes the move could be for the best in the long run.
“I was surprised by how quickly the idea took off. Everyone from our long-standing suppliers, right through to anonymous well-wishers who don’t cycle got behind us. In a way, the move will help. Measuring around 320 square metres, we’ve nearly 50 per cent more space to play with and the shop’s on a main commuter artery. In summer people used to queue out of the door with repairs, so having the space for six work stands is going to really help our flow.”
There will also be a Look Mum No Hands! café at the new premises. Alex Davis told us she didn’t have much more to share just yet. “We delivered a coffee machine and equipment yesterday. We're setting up the space right now.”
In September, Look Mum No Hands’ Mare Street café closed after facing similar pressures to Brixton Cycles. They had originally been invited to the location by The Trampery who were subsequently forced out of their building by a 400 per cent rent hike. “We don’t know what the new tenants want to do with the building but they don’t want Look Mum No Hands! to stay.”
With Brixton Cycles keen to add a café at the new location, the two seem an obvious fit for one another.