21 February 2020 by James Langley

Brighton wood recycling project seeks new home

A Brighton-based recycling project faces being made homeless after being given until 31 March to leave its current premises.

Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project has launched the Save Our Wood Store campaign as it seeks help and support in its search for light industrial premises suitable for a small retail outlet and some office space, in or around Brighton and Hove.

(L-r) Rick Wood, Wood Store supervisor with Caitlin O’Callaghan, general assistant, and Paolo Roggero, volunteer supervisor

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project is a fantastic example of a social enterprise really making a difference in our city.

“This not-for-profit aims to protect our environment by saving and reusing resources while helping to change lives by providing jobs, training and volunteering opportunities for local people.
“The project has rightly been recognised for its innovative business approach and for helping vulnerable people into work.

“On previous visits to the Wood Store, I’ve seen first-hand the contribution they make to waste reduction through turning old off-cuts of wood into beautiful furniture, all made from recycled materials.

“I hope everyone can get behind their campaign to find a new home!”

The not-for-profit social enterprise, which has operated for 21 years, has an interim plan to relocate to the nearby village of Ringmer, some 12 miles away from the city of Brighton, if nowhere else is found soon.

Waste wood

Founded by Richard Mehmed in 1998, Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project collects, reuses and recycles waste wood items and timber which would otherwise go into landfill.

The not-for-profit enterprise is currently based at The Wood Store in Elder Place, Brighton

It provides volunteering opportunities, training placements and employment for people experiencing unemployment and social exclusion. The organisation also offers woodwork training sessions to the public in its workshop.

At its current shop reclaimed wood and products manufactured from reclaimed wood by volunteers and employees can be bought by the public.

Furniture made on the premises is regularly sold to the corporate sector and hospitality trade for offices, hotels, bars and cafes.

The organisation claims it diverts more than 300 tonnes of wood a year from landfill.

Specifications

Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project seeks a workshop and office space 200m² in size with van loading.

It requires a 300m² wood store, preferably with customer parking.

The organisation is prepared to share a space or collaborate with other companies or not-for-profits, saying with its regular customers it would bring in extra footfall to an existing retail or community venue.

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