A charity bike shop in the Capital is set to re-open its doors seven months after a devastating fire ripped through its premises and destroyed thousands of pounds’ worth of stock.
A grand re-opening ceremony will be held at The Bike Station next week after a successful crowdfunding campaign saw members of the public donate £16,000 to rebuild the facility.
The charity, based on Causewayside, was forced to move into temporary premises after last October’s blaze, with a “landmark” 50,000th bike recycled by the team among the damaged stock.
Manager Steve Hynd, 47, said he was “over the moon” to be getting back up and running after a “bleak” winter.
He said: “It was pretty brutal. The staff have been amazing – they have gone above and beyond the call of duty so many times over the last six months.
“We had a winter of freezing in the warehouse – days that your fingers were so cold you could barely hold a spanner.
“We’ve now got the building back from the landlord’s insurance builders [and] have been spending the last couple of weeks getting everything back from the warehouse.
“We are very proud of the work we have done at an extremely low cost.”
The Bike Station’s shop floor and office space have now been repaired and renovated, with more space for adults and children’s refurbished secondhand bikes in an effort to keep more bikes out of landfill.
There is also a dedicated area for the charity’s Fix Your Own Bike sessions, where members of the public can learn about bike maintenance with the help of mechanics and volunteers.
Cash from the crowdfunding campaign was also used to help The Bike Station team restart their maintenance workshops in their temporary warehouse home.
The warehouse will now be used as a dedicated training space to allow the charity’s outreach work to continue in the future, which includes build-your-own bike courses for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Steve said the response from the public had been “phenomenal”, adding he didn’t know how the charity would have got through the last few months without their help.
He said: “We were all touched. We really had no idea that there was such support for us and that so many people would contribute towards surviving the winter.
“It meant that we could get tools, keep the mechanics warm and just keep operating through the darker times, both physically and mentally.
“Without that funding I’m not sure what we would have done.”
The Bike Station is a registered charity and a social enterprise working to promote cycling across Scotland. It is the country’s largest bike recycling charity and has been running for nearly 16 years.
The fire happened in the early hours of Monday, October 17 last year. Although there was a break-in on the same night, with more than £1000 in cash stolen from the safe, the cause of the fire is still under police investigation.
The Bike Station will re-open next Tuesday.