Oxford Cycle Workshop

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Oxford Cycle Workshop Ltd was a social enterprise based in Magdalen Road, Oxford, England. Its aim was to explore the new roles bike shops could play in serving their local community through the piloting of a broad range of social and environmental projects.

The organisation's core project was the recycling of Oxford's many unwanted bicycles destined for landfill. Training was also a key part of the vision for the organisation from the start, creating partnerships with local charities to use cycle maintenance skills as an engagement activity in youth reparation and vocational training. They were also the first organisation to offer mobile mechanic services in Oxford, a service which continues to be offered by James Dawton. Oxford Cycle Workshop was also the birthplace of Oxford Alleycats, Oxford’s Bike Polo Group and Bicycle Scrabble, all of which continue to hold regular events.[1]

History[edit]

Set up on April 1, 2001 by Dominic Scholfield and Gary Essex, Oxford Cycle Workshop started out recycling bicycles from a garage. Within a year the organisation had moved to a shop premises on Magdalen Road and started offering access to bicycle workshop space.

In 2003 a film was made by Oxford Film and Video Makers documenting Oxford Cycle Workshop's vision for its work within Oxford. In which founding Director Dominic Scholfield described "One of the great things about this project by becoming a hub for cycle projects in oxford with a presence, having a shop, (is) we can tap into all sorts of agendas. It really is joined up thinking in sustainable development. Cycling impacts on the health agenda, environment, we're recycling, we're looking at transport, we're looking at social exclusion, about a third of people in this country don't have a car."

In January 2007 Dominic Scholfield stepped down from day to day involvement in the running of Oxford Cycle Workshop and three employees started out on the road to turn the organisation into a worker owned co-operative. By the end of July 2007 Dan Harris, Alexis Zafiroupolous and James Dawton had taken over as Directors of Oxford Cycle Workshop.

In September 2009 Oxford Cycle Workshop set up a partner training organisation called Oxford Cycle Workshop Training, to develop a number of successful pilot projects.

On 16 December 2011 Oxford Cycle Workshop Ltd ceased trading owing to the inability to offer a bicycle recycling service within Oxford: this was due to the difficulties both in sourcing bikes for recycling and in processing bikes at an affordable price.[2]

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