The History of Bikeworks

Bikeworks - in the beginning 

Bikeworks was set up as a social enterprise in 2006 in the East End of London, opening its first premises next to Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets the following year.

The founding partners Jim Blakemore and Zoe Portlock had the original vision for Bikeworks on the back of London winning the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, seeing the strong potential for harnessing this once in a lifetime opportunity for the local community, and more widely, to provide opportunities to those most likely to be excluded. The original business plan for a community cycling social enterprise was in place and income was generated through cycle training contracts. Jim and Zoe still lead Bikeworks, alongside its Board and Team. 

Bikeworks - growing up

Bikeworks relocated to larger retail space, moving into the old East London Advertiser premises in Bethnal Green. It grew quickly during this period, with additional investment from the Social Business Trust, and also corporate sponsorship from Barclays for our employability programmes. Opening an additional four retail shops, a training centre, and an All Ability hub in Little Wormwood Scrubs. This was the period of Legacy after a successful London 2012 Games. 

Bikeworks - achieving our mission  

Bikeworks continues to evolve its business model to achieve even more social impact every year, responding to the needs of our beneficiaries, while collaborating with others to ensure sustainability. By 2018, Bikeworks had reduced the number of physical locations it operated from, moving towards a mobile, outreach model, this has assisted us in reducing our costs, while better achieving and maximising our social impact. We moved into our new home on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park within the Lee Valley VeloPark an inspiring venue, this is the perfect location for us to continue to grow our activities such as Team Building and Maintenance Courses.

Bikeworks - moving forward 

Our new location in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has seen our All Ability Cycling clubs continue to grow, this remains our focus as we remain specialists across a range of different needs that include, mental health, dementia, physical and learning disabilities. We have also established a Centre of Excellence.