Adam Houlding with one of his bicycles. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exv 3307-07-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Bikes boss putting community first

Sean Keywood
Thursday, February 16, 2012
3.00 PM

A Lympstone entrepreneur, who is using his business to support Royal Marines, says businesses should do more to help their communities.

Adam Houlding, 40, runs RULE bikes, a company which employs former marines on its staff, offers them on-the-job training, and donates a share of its profits to marines’ charity the C Group.

The company produces customised ‘style’ bikes, which can be designed by customers online.

Adam, who is married with two children, set up the company after moving to Lympstone from London, and says that the nearby Commando Training Centre provided him with an ideal supply of expertise, as well as the chance to help former Marines.

He said: “As my business plan developed, I knew logistics and organisation were going to be critical, and I realised that maybe the answer was to work with the Royal Marines. I met a number of people from the CTC and [former marine] Stephen ‘Scully’ Scullion came on board and talked to us about the C Group.

“Living in Lympstone, I have experienced, first-hand, marines that have come back, and also a family whose father won’t come back, and that touched me.”

Adam says his company offers a range of support and occupational therapy to marines, while still providing work experience and opportunities to civilians.

The company has committed to donating 10 per cent of its pre-tax profits to charity, and Adam is expecting other charities to join the C Group shortly.

He said: “Businesses shouldn’t only deliver profit to shareholders, but to the community at large.

“Our staff also work on outside projects which are community led.”

RULE’s bikes have already attracted celebrity interest, with orders received from Tour de France cyclist and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Mark Cavendish, his wife Peta Todd, and Olympic skier and Dancing on Ice star Chemmy Alcott.

For information about RULE bikes, visit www.rulebikes.com.