Due to our current shop premises being on land that is going to undergo redevelopment we need to find a new, permanent home. We are having difficulty finding somewhere suitable. If we can find the right place to move to we see this as a really positive opportunity for us to expand and continue our important environmental and social aims.
Three issues have come together to make this an issue for us: one, planning permission for redevelopment of our current home is imminent; two - Brighton's high demand for space and lack of suitable and available premises and three - the size of location we require.
What we need. To carry out our activities at the level of turnover we are now generating (c.£400,000 pa) and to enable continued expansion, we need around 1,200m2 (12,000ft2) of space. Approximately 850m2 of this is for sorting and storage (so can be at a separate location). The remaining space, around 350m2 would be for retailing wood and products; a workshop; office and training functions.
High-quality space isn't required, but as the business model relies heavily on retail sales, we need to be as near as possible to our customer base (Brighton & Hove), accessible and secure.
History. The Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project (also known as The Wood Store) is a not-for-profit social enterprise set up in 1998 to save resources and to create jobs and training opportunities for local marginalized people.
Serving the community for 19 years, we have rescued thousands of tonnes of wood from the local waste stream (730 tonnes in 2016 alone), created 15 paid jobs and provided many thousands of training days for unemployed people – many of whom have been among the most marginalized in the community. We have pioneered innovative ways of dealing with wood waste and are a beacon of both environmental and social enterprise best practice. In addition, our core business model is the foundation of a nationwide network of similar enterprises; so the Project’s positive impact has not just been local but national.
We have survived with no grant funding, but our activity is not financially profitable and we have relied on finding low-cost redundant premises. We were fortunate enough to occupy the derelict Municipal Market site in Circus Street, Brighton for eight years and have recently followed the developer to The Field on Lewes Road, Brighton. However, this too, is up for speedy redevelopment, so we will be homeless again.
“We have been at the heart of the wood recycling revolution .... We need to find a permanent home that will enable us to continue to deliver our important environmental and social outcomes. ” Richard Mehmed, founder.
Can you help? If you feel you can help us to locate, negotiate or finance that permanent home or for any further information, please contact:
Richard Mehmed (Founder/MD) on 01273 20 30 40 / 07751 455822
or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: FIELD, Preston Barracks, Brighton BN2 4GL