The Library of Stuff expands into bigger premises

A community-focused business and enterprise centre is the new home to The Library of Stuff. 

Liam Woods, Project Manager at Unity in Community and Greenwood Business and Enterprise Centre with Alan Dalgairns

The community interest company has moved into new premises at The Greenwood Business and Enterprise Centre on Orchard Park, having more than doubled its range of equipment to hire over the last few years.

The Greenwood Business and Enterprise Centre has been revitalised into a thriving hub for small local businesses by Unity in Community.

Alan Dalgairns realised that some items for sale on eBay were effectively borrowed (purchased, used and resold multiple times) but with all the hassle of packaging and posting. He started to look for a better solution for local people and found the Library of Things movement which started in 2006.

He founded The Library of Stuff in 2019 and had been working out of his garage at home, but soon began to run out of space.

The former rent office on Greenwood Avenue sits on a large plot. Refurbishment of the building at the front is approaching completion and will be used as offices, a public computer suite and provide extra capacity for the community hub, which is currently located on Endike Lane. The units and car park at the rear have already been transformed from a derelict building into business units for local people looking to expand and grow.

Liam Woods,  Project Manager at Unity in Community, said: “We are very happy to welcome The Library of Stuff to our business centre. It breathes new life into the area with regular visits from members of the public.

“Our objective for the Greenwood Business and Enterprise Centre was to support local enterprise with a focus on small businesses with ambition to grow. I’m proud to say we have achieved that in the first phase of development.

“Throughout lockdown, our team was busy renovating the units and as quickly as they became available, they were snapped up. Right now we are working on the final section on the first floor which will become a fantastic office and events space.

“We have ten tenants who feel enabled to develop their business and employ more local people.

“Orchard Park and North Hull Estate have been crying out for something like this for many years. When the opportunity came along to take the rent office over, we jumped at the chance. A few issues have delayed the refurb of the Greenwood Centre, but we are approaching completion and look forward to hosting an official opening later in the summer.

“The Library of Stuff has settled in nicely and word has spread locally. We are very happy to have been able to accommodate this organisation, which is clearly a great asset to the community.”

Alan Dalgairns, Founder of The Library of Stuff said: “Can you believe that the average drill gets used for just 13 minutes of its entire life? To prevent this type of wastage, our members can come along, borrow an item when they actually need it, then give it back for someone else to benefit.

“Members join for £1 and pay a small fee for each item borrowed. Alternatively, they can pay £80 per annum, which makes each item free to borrow for a week at a time.

“Some of the items we provide are things that might be needed occasionally but people don’t actually need to own. Plus, there is the maintenance and of course the storage which seems to be the main issue for most of the people who’ve joined as members. I take care of all of that, making sure everything is tested, safe to use and fit for purpose.

“I quite quickly ran out of room at home and looked for ideal premises to occupy. I had already been aware of Unity in Community, which is a community centre supporting residents of HU6. The Greenwood Business and Enterprise Centre is the perfect location for me and our members. It has great access, parking and security. Plus it’s nice to feel part of a community with a positive culture.”

For more information, please visit Unity in Community on Facebook or call 01482 852292.