Three apprentices for Huntly repair workshop

Left to Right: Laura McNeil (Strategic Outcomes Officer) and Emma Selway-Grant (Chief Officer of GRA). (Photo: Paul Stephenson)

This Scottish Apprenticeship Week, a Huntly firm is celebrating its three local apprentices. Cycle shop and workshop The Bikery, operated by Gordon Rural Action (GRA), has recruited three apprentices from The Gordon Schools in Huntly over the past 18 months. In 2022, Adam Parkinson (18) and in 2023, Connor Winton (17) and Oliver Crocket (16) joined as apprentices. They are learning how to assess, restore and repair bikes and are supporting The Bikery by carrying out services and repairs while gaining skills in bike maintenance and safety.

The eleven-month renovation of The Bikery was partially funded by the Clashindarroch Wind Farm Community Fund. Established by leading renewable energy developer Vattenfall, the Fund awarded £10,000 to Gordon Rural Action for additional surveys and feasibility studies to ensure that The Bikery building is fit-for-purpose and sustainable in the future. By transforming a disused building within the town centre, the Fund supported the town’s regeneration plan.

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The Bikery opened in March 2023. Selling new and recycled bikes, parts and cycling equipment, and maintenance and repairs, The Bikery aims to make cycling affordable for the whole community. The project also seeks to reduce the number of bikes entering landfill and support local transportation options, reducing emissions and environmental impact.

Gordon Rural Action operates The Bikery and offers free confidential and impartial advice for the local community. GRA also provides residents with free new and used products, including school uniforms, sports kits, and baby items.

Laura McNeil, fundraising and retail support manager at Gordon Rural Action, said:

“We are delighted to be offering job opportunities to young people in Huntly, these experiences will help shape their future; allowing them to access positive future job prospects with industry recognised qualifications. With the help of Foundation Scotland we can begin the process of upgrading the building to allow us to make the space an excellent place to learn.”

Kerry Birse, Local Liaison Officer at Vattenfall’s Clashindarroch Wind Farm, commented:

“By creating apprenticeships, making cycling more accessible, and reducing car emissions, The Bikery is vital for the local community. We are thrilled that the Clashindarroch Wind Farm Community Fund has helped to realise this project and support local skills development.”

Vattenfall is committed to developing skills and creating jobs in rural communities across its supply chain. Its onshore wind apprenticeship scheme in Scotland will be rolled out on all future consented onshore wind farms and Vattenfall expects to create 50 apprenticeships through its supply chain in Scotland by 2030.

The Clashindarroch Wind Farm Community Fund is supported by Foundation Scotland. The Fund supports charitable projects in the Strathbogie, Tap o Noth, Cabrach, Huntly, Glass and Rhymie communities.

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