The Electric Cycle Company (ECC) is moving to a 4,000 square foot, carbon-neutral premises in Edinburgh.
Boogie, host of Forth 1’s Breakfast Show, joined Neill Hope, MD of the Electric Cycle Company, to launch a crowdfunding campaign to renovate the building into a new store and workshop, the “biggest e-bike shop in the UK”.
The new 4,000 square foot premises on Crewe Road North is four times the size of the current retail space and workshop on Granton Road. Building work on the electric bike store is set to get underway next week and will take an estimated six weeks to complete.
When completed, the new shop, scheduled to open in early September, will be the “UK’s largest” specialist e-bike shop, displaying a large selection of both new and established electric bike brands and quality accessories. The shop will have enough showroom space to display bikes to enable the knowledgeable and experienced sales team to safely deliver both interactive and informative e-bike demonstrations and ‘talk throughs’, matching the best e-bike to a customer’s lifestyle. With bookable sales appointments, there will be a welcome reception and a dedicated customer waiting and chill out area.
The new store will also be carbon-neutral. The renovation plans include solar panels on the roof and battery banks will take care of lighting and bike charging. Heating will be provided by a biomass boiler powered by the waste packaging the business creates.
The ECC launched a crowdfunding campaign yesterday, 12th July, to raise the £70,000 for the renovation of the shop and workshop. It is targeting current e-bike customers, new and returning cyclists looking to buy their first e-bikes, and other e-bike owners looking for long term specialist bike maintenance and high-end accessories, all of whom will be keen to ‘pay forward’ in order to receive discounts on a wide range of e-bike products, accessories and services that will help them to save money. Puncture repairs, clothing vouchers, free software updates and bike servicing and discount cards for life are amongst the rewards for investment.
“We’ve always been the largest e-bike specialist in Scotland, continuously at the forefront of the industry,” said Hope “My dad started the Electric Cycle Company in 2006. I took over ten years ago and moved it into proper retail premises on Granton Road. Since then we have seen our turnover increase year on year, by as much as 500% over this period.
“Our staff numbers have increased from two to ten [today] and we now have the widest range of electric bikes in Scotland. This is something I could never have imagined when my family started the business from the back of my Dad’s office, as an offshoot from his plastering company. We also have the added benefit of being backed by the North Edinburgh Community.
“We really hope that our customers, old and new, are keen to support us create the most progressive bike shop in Scotland and a more comfortable, spacious and safer environment for them and our staff. The range of crowdfunding rewards will be beneficial to their e-bike lifestyles, both now and in the future. With their investment we will also be able to reward all of our customers with added value with things like extended guarantees, free security marking, and updates. It’s a win-win for all.”
ECC’s expansion comes as the City of Edinburgh Council plans to make changes in the way people move around the city. One of the goals is to create ‘a city where you don’t need to own a car to move around’, a shift towards cycling and walking. The proposals to shape the Scottish capital for the next decade, City Plan 2030, include expanding the network of cycle paths and linking the park and ride terminals to bike-friendly routes. They also set out potential new areas for park and ride terminals and ‘active travel routes’.
Hope added: “Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown there has been a revolution in cycling and our sales have increased by more than 100%, as compared with the same period in 2019. With such a high demand for e-bike sales and maintenance, the Granton Road bike shop and workshop are just too small to operate as safely and efficiently as we want. Our move can’t come quick enough.
“Our new customers are not only getting to grips with the many health and financial benefits of cycling for both commuting and exercise but also quickly realising that e-bikes make the whole physical process even easier and more joyful than traditional cycling, despite the larger initial investment. Edinburgh, with its many hills, substantial cycle path network, and ongoing council backing is the perfect city for an electric bike. With the UK Government’s Cycle To Work Scheme and the Scottish Government-backed Energy Saving Trust e-Bike Loan scheme to help with e-bike purchases, it is also the perfect time to invest in an e-bike.”