Northern Ireland Pilot Reuse and Repair Network

CRNI is delighted to be collaborating with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to establish a pilot reuse and repair network for Northern Ireland which will run from May 2020 until March 2021.

About the Pilot Reuse and Repair Project in Northern Ireland

In 2019 CRNI conducted a feasibility study to understand the impacts a membership network of reuse and repair operators would have on the sector in Northern Ireland.  This was funded by DAERA.

77% of the Reuse and Repair organisations and 82% of Councils surveyed as part of the study felt a network would be valuable to promote the importance of the sector and shift perceptions around reuse and repair. Based on the outcomes of this study it was determined that a pilot reuse and repair network for Northern Ireland should be established, and is funded by DAERA.

Why is there a need for a network?

There were a number of barriers identified by organisations which impacted their opportunity to grow the key ones highlighted being:  1. funding, 2. staff/volunteers, 3. physical space and   4.competition, primarily due the availability of cheap and new products.  The organisations indicated that the most helpful support to enable them to grow their reuse and/or repair activities would be funding, and many specified funding for staff, space, vehicles and equipment as priorities.

Benefits of a network

The pilot network aims to deliver the following benefits: 

  • Engage with reuse and repair organisations and Local Authorities to establish a membership base and develop a tailored member offerings including e.g. funding and networking opportunities 
  • Inform decision makers about the value of a reuse and repair network for Northern Ireland
  • Develop position papers and policy recommendations with members and represent these to key external stakeholders including policymakers and funders

Next Steps

This pilot project aims to test the feasibility that a network would benefit the sector and address the barriers to growth. Therefore CRNI have appointed a Network Coordinator, Eimear Montague, who will be engaging with the repair and reuse community and social enterprises along with local councils in Northern Ireland to further understand the needs of these sectors focusing on funding opportunities, knowledge sharing/ networking and business opportunities as network offerings. The pilot network will then be developed to respond to these needs.

If you wish to learn more about this initiative or enquire about membership please contact Eimear at [email protected] or 0044 7591 409833.

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