Hadleigh Olympic site to go without a bike shop this summer as rents leap

Bike Art, the bustling bike shop and hire centre based at former Olympic XC site in Hadleigh, has told CI.N that it has “had the rug pulled out from under it” by Essex County Council after three successful years in business.

Based at the head of the trail, Bike Art was the on-site shop and service centre for families and athletes taking to the course, which was created in advance of the 2012 Olympics.

Alerted to rent increases with just three months notice before the tender renews, Phillip, the shop’s manager told CI.N “The business has just experienced its best year to date, so the timing is awful; we’ve got to be out by the end of May, so this weekend is our last open to customers.”

Coming just as spring kicks up a gear we’re told the timing couldn’t be worse for the Madison partner store and its staff.

“This is peak time for business, but there has been a general lack of interest and investment in the facility in recent times that, paired with similar rent increases against seafront businesses down the road does make me wonder how long this has been coming. It feels like the box was ticked a few years back and now it’s time to claw some money back. I’m informed that no one has applied to take over when we leave, so Hadleigh looks likely to go without a bike shop all summer.”

The business will sadly have to let go eight part-time staff who, according to the manager, “are of university age and really could have used the summer’s work.”

Operating a separate store at Thetford, staff said to be highly unlikely to relocate north, though the Hadleigh branches’ stock will be moved there.

Photo: @BikeArt