Repair café and library of things opens in Newport

A NEW repair shop and tools library has opened in Newport town centre.

RE:Make Newport is a new space opened by Repair Cafe Wales and Benthyg Cymru on Skinner Street.

It offers residents a place to fix their broken or damaged goods, as well as a library of tools and household items – such as pressure washers, sewing machines and gardening equipment – that people can rent out as and when they need.

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The project has been launched in partnership with Newport City Homes and funded by Wales Council for Voluntary Action’s Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme.

“The idea is that we don’t all need pressure washers or gardening equipment cluttering up the garage – you can rent them instead,” said Phoebe Brown, director of Repair Café Wales. “So you borrow as an when you need.

“The repair café is open two or three times a week. People can bring their things in and volunteers will fix them for you, so you don’t have to throw them away or buy new ones.

South Wales Argus: Inside RE:Make Newport in Newport. Picture: RE:Make Newport.Inside RE:Make Newport in Newport. Picture: RE:Make Newport.

“The idea is that you can sit with your volunteer and learn from them so you can fix it next time.

“It’s also about community, and having somewhere you can come in and have a cup of tea and a chat.”

South Wales Argus: Some of the items in the library of things. Picture: RE:Make Wales.Some of the items in the library of things. Picture: RE:Make Wales.

RE:Make Newport is thought to be the first combined library of things and repair space in Wales.

“This is our first permanent space,” said Ms Brown. “Normally they are pop-ups once a month and volunteers come along for a few hours fixing things for free. The hope is having a more permanent space will encourage more people to come along.

“Next year, in our second year of funding, we are opening three more across Wales.

South Wales Argus: The repair café at RE:Make Newport. Picture: RE:Make Newport.The repair café at RE:Make Newport. Picture: RE:Make Newport.

“We hope it will help with town centre regeneration too, as traditional shops aren’t working anymore.

“We hope it can become an integral part of the community.

“We’re really excited. The response we’ve had has been really good. We’ve been setting up all week with the door open and we’ve had so many people dropping in and seeing what’s happening.”

South Wales Argus: Inside RE:Make Newport in Newport. Picture: RE:Make Newport.Inside RE:Make Newport in Newport. Picture: RE:Make Newport.

People can sign up to be a RE:Make member for £7.50-a-month and to be able to come in anytime to fix your items, and get a 20 per cent discount on borrowing fees.

The shop will also be running a series of workshops, with an upcoming one for parents and children demonstrating how to upcycle a tin can into a Hallowe’en decoration.

RE:Make Newport will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. You can find out more at remakenewport.org

South Wales Argus | Business