It’s fifteen years since we started thinking about creating a dedicated cycling centre in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. It’s been ten years since we opened Dales Bike Centre and started sharing Swaledale with new friends from all over the world. Unfortunately over the last few years we found ourselves with a problem we never thought we’d be lucky enough to have. More people want to come to stay with us or ride in for cake than we can often cope with, and we hate to disappoint people.
That’s why we’ve been working hard for the last 2 years on our dream of expanding the Dales Bike Centre, developing detailed plans to create one of the best ‘all-in’ cycle hub venues in the UK. Fortunately the Yorkshire Dales National Park planning committee liked our scheme and approved plans by unanimous decision on the 8th May 2018.
Those plans include a brand new single storey cafe building designed to extend indoor seating capacity to 70 covers so nobody misses out on Brenda’s cake and delicious local sourced food. It’ll even have a grass roof, glass front elevation and glass link to the current cafe building so nobody misses out on our beautiful views of Swaledale. There is no ‘out of season’ for cyclists so to keep you snug during the chillier months we’re extending our underfloor ground source heating system and installing a log burner to keep you warm. There’s hi-tech wifi, surround sound, projector screen and AV system to keep you entertained. We’ll also be completely refitting our kitchen so that more customers doesn’t mean more waiting.
For all those riders visiting from far and wide we’ll be adding another accommodation building with an extra five double/twin en-suite rooms and 3 family (or triple) ensuite rooms. As you’d expect, the room spec is high and the layouts have been thoughtfully designed specifically with cyclists in mind. The building will also include new larger secure and heated guest bike storage, a new sauna room plus a larger more efficient drying room & laundry. We’ll also be moving and extending our parking space and keeping the whole area nice and Yorkshire with 110 metres of dry stone wall. Dry stone walls aren’t a cheap option but they’re in keeping with our landscape, look great and do a great job of keeping those cute sheep in the field behind us.
With the expansion plans comes more rural employment and huge economic benefit to our area which is much needed. We are expecting to have created an extra 6 full time equivalent post within 3 years, our increase in turnover has a direct positive impact on our local suppliers too. Team Hammonds the Butcher in Bainbridge, Dales Dairies in Grassington who deliver our milk 3 days a week, 'Rock'n'Roll' Colin the veg man on Reeth market who delivers all our fruit and veg, cheesy Clare on Reeth market who supplies all our cheese and JMP of Sedburgh who deliver all our dry food goods will see and increase in business. Along with our direct suppliers our local garage, post office, pubs, cafes, bakery and village shops will all see an economic benefit from this project which has huge support locally.
As you can imagine we’re massively excited about our plans, we’ve crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on the permissions and have invested £30,000 thus far to gain planning conset. We've done our homework with a 3 year cashflow and expenditure forecasts, business plan and grant applications poured over in order to get started. The project build has been out to tender, we’ve negotiated the best price possible and have a preferred local builder who’s really onboard with us and keen to start as soon as we're ready. The projected build time is 38 weeks which sees completion at the end of November 2019.
We’ve costed this project down to the last teaspoon and it’s a rather large number, £1.3 million to see it all completed to the high standard we demand. Currently we’ve a strong application submitted for a Rural Development grant, right now we are negotiating the best deal out of the banks to finance an eye watering amount but we need your help. In order to get the loan to value ratio at a more comfortable level to take the sweat and stress out of raising the amount needed we could do with a bit of help from you wonderful people. We are looking to raise £150,000 through this crowdfunding scheme but obviously we’re not expecting something for nothing. Our crowdfund options all revolve around what we do best; looking after your bike, your belly and your bed and breakfast needs up here in Swaledale. Simply put, if 1500 of you pre-booked one room for one night we are there… But we thought we’d open up a number of options and get as many supporters involved at different buy in levels and benefits. Please check out the different options available and if something grabs you we'd be over the moon for your help.
From all us here at Dales Bike Centre Stu, Bren and the Team we look forward to having you aboard our exciting journey.
Crowdfund is open: 10th Dec 2018 - 29th April. (Extended for a further 8 weeks)
Members Cards will be issued from March'19 being valid for 1 year from 1st April'19.
Pre-book rooms; we expect booking system to go live October 2019.
Money is taken when your purchase is made through the shopping cart of this website. You will receive confirmation email.
Money received goes into the project build account kept separate from business current account.
When is the money used? When there's project invoices to pay
What happens if we don't reach our £150,000 target? We have to load a bit more debt against the project
Why haven't we used an established Crowdfund/Kickstarter website? These regular crowdfund websites take a cut of the amount raised in return for opening a product or service to their huge following on their websites, that is great if that's what a project needs. We felt we don't need that, our project is aimed squarely at our friends in the cycling fraternity. What we needed is a portal to explain the project, take the payment and assemble the details we need to follow the crowdfund project through. We decided that portal is our own website which helps put more money in our project and not into an offshore digital firm.
If you have any question then please do drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent press release from the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Chief Executive, David Butterworth: “Dales Bike Centre is a wonderful example of how a successful business can develop within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is a testament to Stuart and Brenda Price’s vision and entrepreneurship – and it is great to see their dreams come true. Dales Bike Centre offers outstanding opportunities to people from all over the country to experience the National Park.”
Yorkshire Dales National Park Member Champion for Development Management, Robert Heseltine, said: “The owners and staff of the Dales Bike Centre have worked consistently hard to make the business a success in the past ten years. They’ve helped introduce many people to the delights of the National Park – its landscape, heritage and communities – and have provided a great boost to the local economy. When all the work is done, the Dales Bike Centre will be one of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s best visitor destinations.”