Tool library and community workshop founders seek volunteers to build their dream

Posted On 20 Feb 2021 at 6:47 pm

The founders of a tool library and community workshop are looking for volunteers to help build on their initial ideas at an online meeting tomorrow (Sunday 21 February).

The Brighton and Hove group hopes that others will join the meeting, share ideas and offer support as they tackle a number of practical questions.

To register for the meeting, just click on this link to Eventbrite. And to see a short video about the community workshop project, click on the link below.

The aim is for the tool library and community workshop to become a place for people to make, learn, share and repair – and it builds on similar set ups elsewhere, including Edinburgh.

Founder member Garry Meyer 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.”

The founder has set up a not-for-profit community interest company – the Brighton Community Workshop CIC.

It also has an £8,000 grant from Brighton and Hove City Council and has received several donations of tools already.

The first phase of the project is to establish the tool lending library. It will enable people to save money and space as well as reduce waste by borrowing tools they need only occasionally.

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’s fee” of £5 until the tool library opens – and more than 75 people have already signed up. Many of them took part in the first meeting at the end of last month to collaborate on the project.

The group’s second meeting is due to start at 11am tomorrow (Sunday 21 February) when anyone interested in helping to get the idea off the ground is welcome to attend. People can register free on Eventbrite or email the organisers at

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.

Once the project is properly up and running, membership will cost £30 a year and founder members will have their full membership reduced by £5 in the first year.

The aim is 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.

Brighton Community Workshop CIC have made a three-minute video to explain their idea.

Another founder member, Peter Ranson, 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.”

People can support the project by becoming a founder member for £5 or by donating online.

Tool libraries grown in popularity, with established schemes in Edinburgh and Toronto and new tool libraries recently set up in Liverpool and Reykjavik.

Brighton Community Workshop CIC is in discussions with like-minded local organisations to find a base for the tool library and community workshop.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Who knows where this might lead?

    In the Eighties the musician Ron Geesin saw adjustable spanners as boot fairs and became fascinated by them. As he says, to have three of anything is the start of a collection. In his house near Crowborough he now has 3000 of them (and a very tolerant wife). He has written an illustrated history of them – and its success has led the publishers to ask for a sequel. He is an excellently entertaining man.

    I wrote about it here other day:

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