Case Study - Bike business sets wheels in motion

Helping council staff get on their bikes has had a significant impact on an Edinburgh-based business which is passionate about pedal power. Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative – one of the UK’s leading independent bicycle retailers – is working with The City of Edinburgh Council to supply bicycles to staff joining its bicycle-to-work scheme.


The contract, which began last year, means the Council is now the Cooperative’s single-biggest customer.

The City of Edinburgh Council and Partners have over 17,000 employees, five per cent of whom have taken up the opportunity to join the scheme which sees the cost of a bike deducted from salaries over an eighteen month period.

Winning the three -year contract to supply Council staff with bikes is delivering long-term benefits for the business, Joe Shurgold, Deputy Sales and Development Manager for Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative explains: “We won the contract with Edinburgh City Council through the public sector procurement website, Public Contract Scotland. The tender notice outlined how the scheme would work, and what the Council was expecting from the supplier – we knew with our expertise and experience, we could help deliver the package it was looking for.

“Apart from providing bicycles, we also support the Council to deliver the scheme by distributing information about the benefits of cycling and relevant safety information, and we hold road shows to meet with staff and promote cycling to work.

“There is no doubt that winning the Council contract means we are able to maintain and develop a strong relationship with a very important customer, and it’s given us the motivation and experience to look for other opportunities with councils across the country operating similar schemes.  Being registered on the portal means we get email alerts for relevant contract opportunities – which for any business, is a great resource.”

Ann Tonner, from The City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We introduced the bicycle-to-work scheme in line with the Scottish Government’s green transport plan, and we were looking to work with a supplier which could not only supply good quality bicycles, but also provide a bespoke fitting and advice service to the Council’s employees.

“In all procurement exercises the Council look to receive interest from as many suitable suppliers as possible considering our specification requirements. Using the Public Contracts Scotland portal enabled us quick, easy and direct access to those suppliers.

“In the case of the bicycle-to-work scheme, Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative provided the Council with the most economically advantageous bid, demonstrating quality products, expertise and value for money.”