Local people in Brighton & Hove have been working hard during lockdown on plans to launch a tool library and community workshop in their City.
Those plans are now set to become a reality since the group secured a grant of £8,000 from Brighton & Hove City Council and following several tool donations from the community.
The group has formed a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) with everyone working as a volunteer, including the Directors. This means that all funds raised can be used to grow and develop the CIC.
The first phase of the project is to establish a tool lending library. The tool library will enable people to save money and space as well as reduce waste by borrowing tools they will only use occasionally.
Garry Meyer, a founder member said:
We all have to recognise that there is a huge waste of resources going on in the world. It used to be that people would borrow tools from their neighbours, workmates or family but over the years, we have created a culture where everyone has to own everything. We don’t all need to own everything, we can share things with each other.
Many of the tools will be supplied as complete kits that can be used for DIY, decorating or gardening. People will be able to book a kit, collect it and then return the kit when they have finished with it.
Currently anyone can join for the Founder Member fee of £5 until the tool library opens. and over 75 people have already signed up. Founder Membership is being used to enable people to show support for the project and identify the likely income stream that will be available to develop and maintain tool kits. Following the launch, membership will increase to £30 a year.
This will also start to generate an income stream towards the longer-term vision of a Community Workshop which will be a place to make, learn, share and repair.
The workshop will be a space where people can come together to share ideas, knowledge and experience and help each other in woodwork, metalwork, upholstery and projects that use traditional skills.
Peter Ranson, a founder member said:
We need to raise money to be able to buy the tools to lend. The whole point of the tool lending library is that we’re offering that service to people who don’t have the funds to buy hundreds of pounds of equipment but have the inclination to do their own repairs, upcycle furniture or make something from scratch
The award has been made by Brighton & Hove City Council for innovative projects that contribute to carbon reduction. This fund supports projects that support a ‘reduce, repair, reuse and recycle’ approach.