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The Guildford Bike Project – A Year of Success

Published on: 19 May, 2013
Updated on: 20 May, 2013
The former Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Jennifer Jordan, at last year's launch of the Guildford Bike Project

The former Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Jennifer Jordan, at last year’s launch of the Guildford Bike Project

The Guildford Bike Project celebrated its first birthday on Thursday (16 May).  In its first twelve months it has received more than 1,000 donated bikes and sold more than 350 refurbished cycles.

If anyone wants an affordable bike, so that they can join the increasing number of cyclists in Guildford, it might be worth checking them out.

The  community social enterprise project aims to provide opportunities for people living in the less advantaged areas of Guildford to learn, develop new skills and engage in work.

John Thurlow from Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership, the charity that manages the project, says: “It’s been a great first year for the project. We aim to continue and build on this success. We are opening our own shop in June, plan to offer apprenticeships, start an off-road cycle club and offer bikeability training to local families. We also hope this project will be used as a model for future social enterprises in the borough.”

In addition to helping young people and jobseekers, the project also aims to introduce local people to cycling for the first time. A range of cycles for all ages and abilities are available at low, affordable prices.

The project workshop is at our Woking Road Depot. From early June, customers will be able to try out and buy a bike at the project’s own shop at 109 Southway in Westborough. The scheme operates in partnership with Guildford Borough Council and Surrey Lifelong Learning and receives support from Surrey County Council.

Cllr Stephen Mansbridge, Leader of the Council, says: “We are proud to support Guildford Bike Project. It is a great example of how partners can work together with local communities to offer benefits to residents. The team have worked hard and enjoyed a successful first year.

“We hope that many more local young people can access new training and skills through the project in the years to come. We are very keen on social enterprise schemes and want to see more being created over the next two years.”

In the first year:
• More than 50 people have volunteered at the project
• 7 people have gone on to full-time employment and 2 into full-time education
• More than 1,000 bikes were donated by local people and organisations
• The team have refurbished and sold more than 350 bikes and the income is now helping to sustain the project.

The Bike Project currently has 25 active volunteers aged 17 to 75 but is always looking for more.

County Cllr Mark Brett-Warburton (Con, Guildford SE), Chairman of the Guildford Local Committee (made up of county and borough councillors), adds: “We are pleased to have been able to support this very worthwhile project, and congratulate Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership and Guildford Borough Council on a very successful first year, which has totally justified our decision to get behind the scheme.”

For more information visit www.guildfordbikeproject.org.uk For sales or bike donations, please call 01483 570521 or 07767 166542.

To buy a bike from the project, visit the website or call in to the new shop at 109 Southway, Guildford, GU2 8DQ from early June. Please check the website for opening times.

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test 2 Responses to The Guildford Bike Project – A Year of Success

  1. Peter Bullen Reply

    May 21, 2013 at 10:35 am

    It is so encouraging to hear that Guildford is home to such an enterprising organisation which provides so many benefits including recycling (no pun intended!) of bicycles, training, reducing youth unemployment, improving health by encouraging people to cycle, and, hopefully, cutting down on car emissions. In popular parlance it’s a ‘win-win’ situation.

  2. Doug Staniforth Reply

    May 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Perhaps they may have a suitable bike for Cllr Stephen Mansbridge?

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