Review of the Climate Challenge Fund - Appendix C: Case Studies Report

This report reviews the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), a Scottish Government scheme that supports communities to take action to address climate change.

Bike Revolution (Outfit Moray)

Project value High (£130,295 - £450,000)
Duration 2 years
Refresh Elements Broaden, Explore: New to CCF; revenue-raising
Topic(s) Waste reduction, Transport

Project Details

Background to group

Outfit Moray was set up in 2003 and focuses on delivering accessible, outdoor education and adventure activities for young people. A company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, it originally developed from the Elgin Youth café and is based in Lossiemouth, Moray.

Reasons for project and inspiration

In April 2012, Outfit Moray secured funding from Moray LEADER, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Cycling Scotland to set up a pilot project focusing on meeting a need for second hand bicycles and for cycle servicing and support. This need was identified via requests from local people who had been made aware of the organisation through the sale of Outfit Moray's ex-hire bicycles. This project enabled a bike refurbishment and sale process to be set up and also resulted in the support of cycling in the area via activities such as bike health checks.

Aims and approach

Outfit Moray sought to extend and expand their cycling-based project and was signposted to CCF by an outdoor education network. Although saving carbon was not the key initial driver for the project, Outfit Moray had a general interest in saving carbon and the CCF was seen as suitable for the purpose of funding the growth of the pilot into the Bike Revolution project. Bike Revolution appealed to the broaden refresh theme (a group new to the CCF) and the explore theme (as it sought to raise revenue).

The project was developed to reduce CO2 emissions and promote healthier lifestyles by discouraging car use and promoting the use of cycling for commuting, health and leisure reasons. Prior to the CCF application, encouraging cycling and behaviour change was not a particular focus, rather the project focused on reducing waste to landfill and reuse. The CCF funding gave structure to the project and "gave us a massive focus on carbon and on behaviour change", (rather than just on bicycles, recreation, education).

Bike Revolution employed two full-time mechanics to work on bicycle refurbishment and a marketing co-ordinator 4 days per week to lead on the promotion of the project. A van was purchased with the funding to assist with the collection of materials and attendance at workshops. In addition the workshop space was developed and more tools purchased to enable more staff (and volunteer mechanics) to work concurrently.

A key aim of the CCF funding was to help the project (but not the whole of Outfit Moray) move away from grant funding and to become self-sustaining. In addition the project sought to increase volunteering opportunities and to increase employability in the area.

Achieving Behaviour Change

The target audience for the project was broad, reaching out to all potential cyclists in the community. A summary of the project activities, measures and behaviour change findings arranged in terms of ISM contexts is as follows.


  • Cycling advice packs issued when recycled bikes purchased to encourage cycling, promote benefit and routes and complemented by verbal advice from staff.
  • Training sessions and courses on bike maintenance.
  • Drop in repair sessions and bike building skills sessions at schools.
  • Trained cycling leaders.
  • Delivered basic bike skills courses for adults.
  • Prizes offered to cyclists for miles travelled / commuted and monthly prize draw for those completing travel diaries and logging miles cycled online.
  • Prizes included free servicing.


  • Presentations at a wide range of community events.
  • Bike Doctor events and schools visits.
  • Delivery of own events including bike sales and pop-up shops.
  • Family rides, including with local businesses and in partnership with local events and festivals.
  • Development of local women's cycling group (supported by CTC Scotland).
  • Promoted active travel via staff (e.g. attending training events on a 'cargo bike' instead of using vans, cycling to meetings).
  • Local 'Strava Club' (social media cycling site) set up to log miles cycled by recipients of services.
  • Facebook group set up to promote activities and to some extent advice. Twitter account set up, although little used.
  • Advertised classes, meetings and shared stories to promote cycling.


  • Refurbished and resold second-hand bicycles.
  • Bike servicing services.
  • Extensive use of recycled materials in workshop to promote reuse; e.g. building benches, sheds, cycle hangers from reused materials, including packing crates, old cycle parts.

Successes and Benefits

The group felt that they had learnt extensively on how to promote and engage with the local community and the project gave them the confidence to try different things, see what was popular and deliver on what worked (in terms of types of events, engagements and working with partners such as schools and businesses).

Some of the practical elements of the project in particular were identified as successes, including bike maintenance and refurbishment classes, bike building training for schools and training for younger people. The sale of bikes was another key success (395 bikes were refurbished over the course of the project and 344 bikes were serviced and/or repaired). The group identified many repeat customers who brought back bikes for rebuilding that their children had grown out of and left with a new one, thus promoting a recycling and reuse culture. In addition, there was anecdotal evidence of significant health benefits for some who had started to cycle. They were variously described as 'looking different', and saying that cycling had changed their life or lifestyle in a significant way.

Project delivery

The CCFM funding requirement to manage progress and spending and to feedback regularly to the funder was described as giving rigour to the project creating a different, more 'business-like mind-set' in Outfit Moray as a whole. This helped it move Bike Revolution towards being self-sustaining.

The project also identified a number of successful partnerships including Moray Council and Police Scotland. They respectively held bikes for refurbishment at their recycling centres and in lost property. Other partners included local schools and businesses for the delivery of training and maintenance sessions, and the local sustainable travel officer who worked closely with the project to coordinate activities.

Community and Wider Benefits

Other community and wider benefits identified included the training of local volunteers and staff in bike maintenance, and other skills and outdoor leadership courses for young people. Both of these were described as giving recipients self- confidence, teamwork and organisational skills to support employability.

Carbon Calculations

Outfit Moray had not undertaken any carbon calculations before the project and indicated that working out how to do it was not easy: "it was something completely different and new".

Collecting data on material recycled and reused was relatively straightforward, but the groups found that calculating savings was a challenge in terms of identifying the correct factors to use, with initial ones obtained not proving fit for purpose. Consultation with KSB Development Officers helped to clarify this. Calculating changes arising from behaviour change and modal shift was much more difficult and the group found it very challenging to prove changes due to the limited level of statistics available to make calculations. Collecting data from customers after they purchased a bike did generate some data, but this was very difficult, even with incentives for diaries or the use of online software. Overall it was estimated that CO2 emission savings resulting from the bike refurbishment, metal recycled, and car miles reduced were approximately 20.3 tonnes of CO2.

Challenges and Lessons Learned

The key lesson learned for the group related to the collection of data and in identifying target audiences for modal shift. On reflection the group would have liked to have worked more closely with schools and businesses and targeted the school run and commute to make it easier to stay engaged with clients and collect data. The group would also have built-in competitions earlier, incentivised organisations rather than individuals to feedback data, and would have set up the modal shift outcomes and how to measure them earlier in the process. One staff member highlighted that lots of focus went on getting the project up and running, so at the outset the evaluation took a back step and that this was an opportunity missed.

The group also learned much about how to engage and target their offering. This included, for example: realising that bike sales at Christmas were not an effective use of resources (as people tended to want to buy new at that time of year); that stand-alone pop-up shops and bike maintenance sessions do not work well and that these are best placed at events or locations where people cycle to; and that the use of gimmicks to catch attention at events and make cycling interesting (e.g. a smoothie bike, or novelty bikes) can work well in motivating engagement.

Legacy / Looking Forward

Bike Revolution has left a strong legacy of trained staff, an established service and has been able to generate enough income both to become self-sustaining and to generate a surplus to support the charitable work of Outfit Moray.



Email: Debbie Sagar

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