CycleManchester has opened its doors in Stamford House in Altrincham after receiving a £19k loan from Start Up Now the North West arm of the government’s national £150m Start Up Loans programme.
CycleManchester is set along one of the new Velocity 2025 cycle routes and brings together Velo Espresso, an artisan coffee shop, with a unique cycle boutique and a full ecommerce website www.cyclemanchester.co.uk selling a wide range of cycle related products, from sports nutrition to clothing.
Run by Neil Lee and Marie Lee, the new venture is dedicated to celebrating the history, success and importance of cycling in Greater Manchester, home to the world’s greatest track cycling team and world-class facilities like the Velodrome. Velo Espresso is a 25 seat coffee shop featuring cycling memorabilia including cycle art, photos and a number of cycle frames on the wall. It also offers a range of premium, ethically sourced Artisan coffee along with home made cakes & sandwiches as well as a unique display of hand built bikes from some of Britain’s best frame and cycle builders.
Neil has used the Start Up Now loan to invest in a number of new plans to develop the Velo Espresso venue as a hub for cycling enthusiasts across the region. Neil says: “There was an 88% rise in people commuting by bike in Manchester last year and this seems set to increase even further. Getting the Start Up Loan has meant that we have the infrastructure in place to meet a growing demand and grow CycleManchester and Velo Espresso as a destination where cyclists and non-cyclists alike can relax over a coffee, enjoy a healthy lunch, find out about cycling events locally or just chill and watch one of the classic races to be shown on TV this year.
“We will very much be guided by our customers and plan to put CycleManchester at the heart of the cycling community. We will be holding evening events, which we hope will engage cyclists at all levels, from basic cycling maintenance to cycle nutrition.”
Paul Breen, Director of Business Finance Solutions said: “Cycling has become a way of life for millions of people in the UK over the past few years and CycleManchester has used the Start Up Now loan to effectivley tap into that growing trend.“Neil and Marie are building not just a business, but a real community by offering an interesting concept to your local coffee shop and it is already a company that stands out and has huge potential to grow and expand.”
Start Up Now will see £15 million allocated to new start-ups across the North West over the next two years, creating around 3000 new businesses and over 5000 new jobs in the region. Over 1000 BFS Start Up Loan recipients in the North West are now running their own businesses, creating employment and economic opportunities across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria. Start Up Now is available to everyone over the age of 18 in the North West.