Last month, I received the welcome news that the Remade in Edinburgh project has secured premises on the Royal Mile.
Remade in Edinburgh provide weekly drop in sessions that give people new skills to repair and reuse items such as clothes and computers. The project works to promote a zero-waste agenda as an alternative to a culture of disposable items.
The project had been seeking to set up home in the old bagpipe shop on the Royal Mile. Back in July, it looked like that plan was set to fail after Council officials recommended rejecting the deal.
Thankfully, councillors voted against this recommendation to give the project time to work up a business plan. That plan was presented to councillors last month who agreed to let the property to the project and to review the situation in a year’s time.
The decision is a practical example of the challenge of getting the best use of the council’s property, financially and socially, something we debated in Parliament in September during discussions on the proposed Community Empowerment and Engagement Bill.
More and more of the items we buy, from clothes to technology, are designed to be disposable. However, in so many cases, the items that we throw out could continue to be used if we had the skills to make minor repairs.
That is where Remade in Edinburgh can step in to provide people with the skills to carry out all kinds of odd-jobs from reviving old clothes to repairing minor computer faults – helping them to save money in the process.
As well as the environmental benefits of diverting waste from landfill, the project also has social benefits, bringing people together and encouraging the growth of social enterprises that can operate on profits from selling recycled goods.
Now that the project has secured premises, I hope that it will continue to go from strength to strength and I would like to congratulate the dedicated volunteers who have made this a truly community led project.