A Bath charity is set to launch a brand new e-bike rental scheme which will help it raise much-needed cash to reduce homelessness and tackle long-term unemployment.
Thanks to a grant from the West of England Combined Authority, the Julian House Bike Workshop is investing in a fleet of e-bikes that will be rented out to tourists visiting the city.
Rod Standing, the workshop manager, talked to West of England Mayor Dan Norris about how many people visiting Bath want to see the locations from Netflix’s Bridgerton but are disappointed to find they are spread out across the city, so an e-bike is a great way to take in all the sights.
The rental scheme 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 jobs 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.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “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.”
Helen Bedsor, CEO Julian House added: “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.”