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the UK and Ireland, each scrap store is run independently, although collaboration is the norm, including scrap swaps, which helps circulate stock throughout the country.

Louise Lucas set up the Leeds scrap store (Scrap Creative Reuse Arts Project, or SCRAP) in 2004. Since then, she conservatively estimates that over 300 tonnes of waste have been diverted from landfill. This is an impressive figure given that, as Louise explains, “SCRAP is entirely self-funded, relying solely on membership fees and selling materials to groups and individuals.” There is no doubt that with more

funding and larger premises, this figure could be at least 10 times greater but according to Louise, “Funding is a big issue a lot of the time.”

However, with nearly 1,000 members, about half of them organisations, SCRAP is a growing success story. In common with many scrap stores, Louise runs a number of creative workshops at SCRAP, primarily for children and community organisations. But she doesn’t plan to stop there, “I have so many ideas about how SCRAP can really make a difference now that we’re established – holding ‘make’ fairs,

buying craft materials in bulk to sell on at a discount – the list is endless”. In particular, she’s keen to work more closely with local artists, not only to involve them in workshops, but also to provide a meeting place where artists can explore what’s on offer and share ideas. I defy anyone with an ounce of creativity not to be completely inspired and caper about in childlike delight when exploring the Aladdin’s cave on offer!

Louise has always had a passion for unusual things, having grown up in a house filled with antiques and car boot hauls. She says, “With SCRAP, I have tried to recreate the feeling of

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