For the last 13 years, Bristol Wood Recycling Project has been based at Cattle Market Road.
But as work begins to prepare for the University of Bristol’s new campus, the city council has terminated the cooperative’s lease on their site between the former Cattle Market Tavern and derelict sorting office.
It means that unless they find a new home, the self-funding social enterprise will have to stop the work that they do saving resources from waste, providing affordable resources to the community, and enabling social inclusion and learning through volunteering opportunities.
“We’ve always understood our tenancy here as temporary and are enormously grateful to Bristol City Council for accommodating us as long as possible,” says Kaleb Debbage, BWRP co-director and workshop manager.
“This 13 year ‘meanwhile’ use of otherwise marginal land has enabled us to give a huge amount back to the city.
“We fully appreciate the budgetary conditions imposed on the council who, like us, find themselves having to create innovative solutions within great financial constraint.
“What we need to concentrate on now is finding an affordable new home.”
In more than a dozen years of developing a self-financing business model, BWRP has grown from a simple idea brought to life by volunteers into a significant enterprise with nine paid employees and substantial social
and environmental impact, becoming an essential part of Bristol’s alternative economic identity.
BWRP has saved more than four 4,000 tonnes of wood from landfill over its lifetime and just last year facilitated almost one thousand days of work and training with volunteers from all backgrounds.
The team are currently exploring all options to find a new home.
“We want to find a permanent site to continue growing our contribution to the city and we welcome assistance from Bristol’s many communities in this great search,” Kaleb adds.
Until a new home is found or not, the business will continue as usual, six days a week, collecting wood waste, selling reclaimed timber, making bespoke furniture and hosting volunteers at Cattle Market Road.
If you can help Bristol Wood Recycling Project in their search for a new home, telephone 0117 972 3219 and ask for Kaleb or Ben.