SCAN launches e-cargo bikes for art workers

SCAN is thrilled to announce the acquisition of four e-cargo bikes which will be available to SCAN members, and affiliated artists and art workers, to use in their day-to-day work for free, thanks to funding from Cycling UK. Housed at four partner organisations – The Briggait in Glasgow, Edinburgh Sculpture WorkshopForgan Art Centre in Fife and Hospitalfield in Arbroath – all four Babboe Go Mountain Electric Cargo Trikes come equipped with large capacity cargo boxes, allowing for safe storage of materials and artwork.

The scheme comes at a time when artists and arts organisations across the country are in dire need of sustainable transport options to support their work. During the combined cost of living and climate crises, transport of heavy and cumbersome materials by car or taxi can be expensive and harmful to the environment. Providing a free means of transport actively cuts emissions, makes art-making more accessible to more people, and allows budget-stretched arts organisations to cut transport costs.

The bikes were purchased through the Cycle Share Fund: a Cycling UK project, funded by Transport Scotland, which provides funding for organisations to purchase cycles and equipment for shared use. In the coming weeks, the SCAN team will be transporting the bikes to their new destinations via public transport and cycle – including cycling one of them the entire route from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

Members can find out about how to hire the bikes for free via our project page here.

On the launch of the bike scheme, Moira Jeffrey, Director of Scottish Contemporary Art Network, said:

“Artists and arts organisations across Scotland are working hard to meet the challenges of the climate emergency. We’re delighted that we can help them reach their goals by making the sustainable transport of materials and art works that little bit easier thanks to support from Cycling UK in Scotland’s Cycle Share Fund. We are thrilled that our four e-cargo bikes, which are free to book for SCAN members, will be available in both urban centres and rural areas. We want artists to feel supported in the huge effort they are already undertaking to make the word a better place for all of us.”

Judith Rowe, Senior Project Officer at Cycle Share Fund, said:

“We think these cargo bikes will make a huge difference; allowing people to access to a low-cost transport option which promotes health and wellbeing while also benefitting the environment. We know that owning a bike isn’t the best solution for everyone, so the Cycle Share Fund was set up to support affordable and convenient models that allow people to use a bike without buying one. We were impressed by SCAN’s application which stood out as being innovative and unique, so we look forward to hearing about the many ways these bikes will help people and communities.”

Jennifer White, Director of Forgan Arts Centre, said:

“Our rural location and the poor and often inaccessible public transport in North East Fife means the staff team and visitors to Forgan Arts Centre rely on cars for transport. A new e-cargo bike will be an example of green transport in action at the centre, setting a precedent for using bicycles, even in our rural context. Artists and visitors to the centre are often transporting art and craft materials or fragile projects in ceramics, textiles and glass. An e-cargo bike provides the perfect way to bring these items to and from the centre safely. It will also level up our commitment to active transport through lending it to our tutors, participants, and staff. We can’t thank Scottish Contemporary Art Network and Cycling UK enough!”

Laura Simpson, Director of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops, said:

“When SCAN got in touch about the opportunity to have an e-cargo bike located at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop we had a big response, with studio holders really keen to try it. We have a very broad range of people coming and going, many of whom don’t have a car for ethical or financial reasons, so we are excited to see what potential it can open. Some artists I spoke to already use their normal bicycle for most of their transport needs, but could see how having access to a cargo bike could help them with moving materials and larger objects.”

Cicely Farrer, Programme Manager at Hospitalfield, said:

“We’re looking forward to training the staff team, volunteers and residents to use the cargo bike so they can travel around Arbroath to collect garden or art supplies and to travel to meetings with our partners in and around Arbroath – particularly to the New Scriptorium by Bobby Niven in Arbroath Abbey. This will be our first electric bike at Hospitalfield and we hope that what we learn from how we use it will lead to our acquisition of further cycling equipment and support more climate friendly ways of travelling around Arbroath and Angus amongst our staff, volunteers, residents and visitors.”