Bike hub needs a new home

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14-years-ago Charlene Bordley had a vision – to make Parramatta a happier and healthier place.

Launching Addventageous, a healthy, active outdoor program for children and families, she was shocked to find so many participants, both children and adults, didn’t know how or were too afraid to ride a bike.

Like many simple outdoor activities during the pandemic’s peak last year, cycling popularity boomed, and so did Addventageous, which quickly grew to offering bike riding lessons across Parramatta for schools, community groups and workplaces.

As the social enterprise expanded, Ms Bordley moved into Horwood Place (City Centre CarPark), leasing the venue for a minimum of two years, anticipating a third.

However, just six months after establishing The Parramatta Bike Hub, offering lessons, bike-hire and bike-tours, MetroWest advised they were to compulsory acquire the space.

Now, with the clock ticking until they must vacate by the end of the month, Ms Bordley, like many other businesses across Parramatta, is on a desperate hunt to relocate.

She says the influx of businesses looking for space is making the market highly competitive and impossible for social enterprises or not-for-profits to find new homes.

“Bike education is so important, there are a lot of fears and cultural barriers that have restricted the amount of children learning to ride,” she said.

“A larger affordable space would support the growth of an accredited team of coaches, tour guides and mechanics, further supporting social impact with employment, health and wellbeing and congestion on roads.

“The future of Parramatta’s cycling connections relies on a venue to house the Parramatta Bike Hub and the invaluable working towards a more sustainable city.”

Ms Bordley has been looking high and low for a space to relocate but due to the unique nature of the business, she requires a space that is large enough to store all of the bikes, and provide appropriate access.

City of Parramatta Council assisted her to find a suitable space, however, this has proved unsuccessful.

“City of Parramatta Council has been a strong supporter of the social enterprise Addvantageous Parramatta Bike Hub which provides affordable and accessible cycling programs for our community,” a Council spokesperson said.

“As a gesture of goodwill, Council staff have been working diligently to find an alternative Council-owned premises within the Parramatta CBD for Addvantageous but unfortunately to date the options have not met their specific requirements.”

A Sydney Metro spokesperson said they are conscious that this is a difficult time for businesses.

“Sydney Metro has been working with Addventageous Parramatta Bike Hub since 2019 and we were able to reach a mutually agreed settlement on compensation in accordance with the Just Terms Act,” the spokesperson said.

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