JE James Cycles to open first Barnsley store

JE James Cycles – one of the largest independent cycle retailers in Europe – will be opening a brand-new shop in Barnsley town centre this May.

Set to open to the public later this year, the 7,874 sq ft store will be located in 12-18 Eldon Street.

The three-story shop will offer a huge variety of bikes and cycling goods from both JE James Cycles, a Yorkshire and Derbyshire-based family-run business that has been operating for over 60 years, and Giant Bikes, one of the biggest bike brands in the world, to offer a wide range of high-quality cycling products.

The shop is just a few minutes’ walk from Barnsley Interchange and The Glass Works, the latter of which saw a 22% increase in footfall in 2023 compared to 2022.

The origins of 12-18 Eldon Street can be traced back to 1907, when it was created as a purpose-built YMCA headquarters.

This building is part of the Eldon Street High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), an exciting four-year £4m project between Barnsley Council and Historic England, which aims to bring life back to historic buildings through restoration work and cultural activity on the street.

The Eldon Street High Street HAZ awarded a grant to support the renovation works, including works to the shop front – renovating the windows and historic stonework – along with integral repairs to the roof.

This work has assisted JE James Cycles in sensitively refurbishing the tired building and bringing it back into everyday use. As an organisation, they employ a number of contractors who have also helped with the conversion of the interior of the property for its upcoming commercial use.

Chris James, Business Partner at JE James Cycles, said: “We’re really excited about bringing JE James Cycles and Giant Bikes to Barnsley. We’ve been impressed with the regeneration that’s happened so far in the town centre – it’s such a buoyant place right now. There are not many places attracting footfall like Barnsley town centre now is.

“When we took on 12-18 Eldon Street, it was in a poor state to say the least. An awful lot of effort has been put into its renovation from all sides and we’re passionate about bringing a new lease of life to a building that was very nearly too far gone to save. We couldn’t have done this without the help of the HAZ scheme.”

The new store will also offer e-bikes – with access to specialists – as well as full bike servicing and repairs, ensuring all cycles are ready for riding.

Cllr Robin Franklin, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “JE James Cycles is an extremely popular Yorkshire brand, and we are delighted to welcome them to Barnsley town centre this year. Their store will provide another fantastic reason to come and visit the town centre. I’d encourage people to pay them a visit, and then use your new bike to explore Barnsley’s stunning countryside and abundance of Trans Pennine Trail routes.

“Their brand-new store will be a completely new offering for us and shows real faith from the private sector in the regeneration that has taken place in Barnsley. It will also assist us in renovating another key piece of the puzzle in the centre, as part of the Heritage Action Zone, and in supporting our upcoming expanded Active Travel Hub.”

As the Council continue to invest in the regeneration of the town centre, a project to encourage more cycle usage has also recently been announced. This will include the use of £950,000 of allocated funds from South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority for the expansion of the current Active Travel Hub based at Barnsley Interchange.

In an ambition to reduce carbon emission, this enhanced Active Travel Hub offer will see hireable bicycles and e-bikes purchased to encourage active travel (cycling and walking) in the town centre. A mobile hub will also be launched, meaning communities and workplaces across the borough will be able to access bike loans, free repair service and advice. 

Cllr James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, said: “We are excited by the investment to significantly enhance the town centre’s active travel offer, which will increase access for our communities, and make active travel an attractive and realistic choice for short journeys.

“The benefits of physical activity through active travel to mental and physical health, as well as the environment, are proven and the addition of JE James Cycles is the perfect retailer to complement our aims.”

With the opening of the Market Gate Bridge providing bike links to Barnsley Football Club and Barnsley Metrodome, the town centre is becoming ever more accessible for active travel journeys.

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