Decorative Products Guide

James Latham Joins Forces With Accsys To Support Unique Charity Project

Added 10.11.19

The Handlebar Café is cycle-friendly, socially-sourced, straddles an old railway line and was designed by the young minds of spudYOUTH, a RIBA award winning charity. 

Along with supplier Accsys, James Latham has been supporting the project throughout its development, contributing both funding and sustainable, long-lasting Accoya® wood for its cladding and decking.

Working in partnership with Accsys, James Latham has provided the sustainable, long-life, high-performance wood to help the students realise their dream project: a cyclist-friendly and community-centred café along the Viaduct Cycle Path at the foot of St Catherine's Hill, south of Winchester. 

After extraordinary community support from local businesses, individuals and the local authorities, over £350,000 was raised turning their concept into a reality with Handlebar Café now officially open for business.

A ‘model of sustainability’ and constructed largely from timber, the design was inspired by the train carriages that no longer run along the railway line.  Fitting in perfectly to the project’s sustainability goals is the use of Accoya® wood for the exterior elements. 

Accsys’ proprietary acetylation process transforms FSC® certified, sustainable, fast growing wood into a building material that can also outperform man-made, unsustainable or heavily carbon-polluting alternatives. This means the Handlebar Café will not only look great, but will also be locking up captured atmospheric carbon in the wood of its walls and flooring for decades.

As Accoya wood is so stable and durable, the trees used to make them will actually be regrown several times over during the lifetime of products made from it – and the carbon footprint for production is very low (or even negative).

Local children, working with the spudYOUTH charity, designed and planned the venue to provide ethically-sourced food and drink, cycle hire and repair facilities, and training and jobs for young and long-term unemployed people. 

It will also provide a venue for charity and community activities, with up to 140 free architecture workshops per year for up to 20 young people each. The project also aims to promote healthy and environmentally friendly living – not only through encouraging cycling, but also through ethical, local and sustainable sourcing.

Accoya wood is available directly from stock through James Latham’s 12-strong network of branches throughout the UK and Ireland. For contact details and to find out more about Latham’s full range of timber products, go to:

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