A BICYCLE recycling centre run with volunteers is now dealing with more than 3500 bikes every year.

The Bike Station has grown from a small unit in the Barras Market to a major workshop in the West End of Glasgow, employing 10 full-time staff and 12 volunteers.

They take bikes which are no longer wanted, refurbish them and resell them back to the public. Those too badly damaged are sold for scrap.

The not-for-profit social enterprise sells bikes from £80 for a basic model to £450 for a fully refurbished, top-of- the-range racing bike.

Any profit is invested in community based cycling projects, such as the weekly Dr Bike repair workshops which are free and open to the public.

Bike Station warehouse manager and volunteer co-ordinator Stuart Wallace said: "There is a growing sub-culture of cycling in the city which shoes no sign of slowing.

"We are getting busier every year as more people than ever are leaving their cars and getting out of buses and trains on to the bike which all means extra business for us, and we need volunteers to help us cope."

The number of people using bikes to get to and from work increased more than 70% in the first decade of this century and its popularity continues to grow.

Volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and age groups and get involved in everything from documentation, warehousing work and helping out with repair workshops.

Mr Wallace said: "We are maybe not what most people see as a typical organisation that involves volunteers but we could not do nearly as much without them.

"We get the advantage of their enthusiasm and in turn they can improve their practical skills and build experience that they may want to use to get back into full-time work."

Ian McGready, from Broomhill, has been volunteering with the Bike Station for the past six months.

He said: "I've had a lifelong love of bikes so volunteering here makes perfect sense for me and allows me to increase my repair knowledge.

"It is also a great way of keeping active and doing something positive to help others while looking to get back on the jobs ladder."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk