You may have heard that the family company of Britain’s richest MP Richard Benyon recently acquired an ownership stake in Hoxton’s New Era Estate, an area just north of Shoreditch that’s home to many low-income tenants. The Daily Mirror claimed that ‘Devastated families face eviction‘ due to rent increases; Benyon himself responded in the Huffington Post, pointing to his family’s 150-year history of being Hackney landlords, and denying that his firm was motivated by pure profit.
But here’s an indisputable casualty – the brilliant London Bike Kitchen, a community workshop that teaches cyclists of all ages, incomes, abilities, genders and sexualities how to fix their bikes themselves, will soon have to move out of its Whitmore Road space because of proposed higher rents. So it needs a new home in east London – and you can help.
Jenni Gwiazdowski, LBK director, says: ‘We’re looking for bigger premises to better serve the cycling community. At least 500 square feet of open space, plus a kitchen and bathroom. Storage space, a classroom space, and an office would be an added bonus. A shopfront, or a warehouse – we’ll take either of those or anything in between! If we can store oxy-acetylene gas, that would be the icing on the cake, but definitely NOT a requirement.’
Got anywhere in mind? Know of an empty shop that would be perfect for a local DIY bike workshop? Or just love cycling and want to make sure it’s open to everyone? If you’ve got any leads or contacts, get in touch at Jenni@lbk.org.uk.
For another good cause, help save the iconic Bethnal Green gas holders.
By Euan Ferguson