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Cambridge City Council


It’s with great sadness that we closed the Cambridge Community Scrapstore in May 2022.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our members over the years. It has been a pleasure being part of your journeys, seeing your creations and projects, and most of all getting to know you.

Thank you also to those of you who have donated, shopped with us and crafted through the years.

Questions about the closure

Why did you close Scrapstore?

Scrapstore was established not only with the aim of encourage re-use, but also with the aim of generating income for the council. The 2019 review of Scrapstore found that once staffing costs had been considered, the project has a net annual cost to the council of £46.5k. With changes in service priorities, the council is no longer able to subsidise this service in its current delivery model.  

The past two years have also shown us it's time to review what we do and why we do it. By working together with community partners we will aim to address gaps and needs both to support financial hardship and the green agenda. The aim will be for opportunities to be available throughout the city, rather than delivered from one site.

What will happen to the staff?

After the closure, all of our staff will move to work in alternative roles in the community services department. There will be no redundancies through these changes.

What will you offer instead?

We are developing a place-based offer that will focus on lending, loaning and re-use. This might take the shape of uniform swaps, repair cafés and lending projects.  We are keen to work with local communities and our customers to help shape this going forwards. This offer is not only good for the environment but will help communities most in need and re-align the service with the council’s anti-poverty strategy.

What is going to happen to the stock?

We will be hosting some big give-away events and plan to support our customers and local community groups to make the best use of our stock. Anything left over will be donated to other scrapstores or similar schemes locally.

Where else can we donate?

There are a number of places nearby where you can donate. Our team is working behind the scenes to see if additional donor sites can be developed within the city.

Social media has many platforms which support peer to peer lending, swapping and selling. Check out the following:

  • If you are a Facebook user, local community pages are a great place to start: try Life’s a gift, Facebook marketplace or Eco-Trash to treasure
  • Try other web platforms and apps such as GumTree and Free-Cycle.

Check if your items can be recycled. Modern recycling techniques mean that many items that were previously not recyclable can now be transformed into new products. 

Check if a local TerraCycle scheme is set up in your area.

Where else can we buy products we find at Scrapstore?

Re-Imagine resource centre at Witchford welcome visitors and new members

Peer to peer platforms such as Facebook, GumTree, Free-cycle all offer ways to connect with others for selling, trading and free-giveaways

Why can’t Scrapstore be delivered by someone else ?

The current model of running Scrapstore costs £46K annually. A feasibility study explored transferring the project to another provider. This was however considered not financially viable for any future provider.

What will happen to The Box (unit 17, Barnwell Drive)?

The unit will be used as a temporary home by Cambridge Sustainable Food to develop a local food distribution hub and kitchen as their current home at Buchan Street community centre is due for demolition later this year. In the longer term, the unit will be re-let as a commercial unit, providing a well needed space for a local business.

Can we bulk-buy the stock?

Yes, within reason. Please talk to our staff team about specific requirements.

Email us if your questions have not been answered here. We aim respond within 4 working days.

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