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 is running from May 2020 until March 2021.

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Annual Report 2020

Find out more about the milestones and achievements of NI-RN during 2020 in the annual report below.

Northern Ireland Resources Network (NIRN) Membership

A pilot reuse and repair network was established in 2020 following a DAERA-funded feasibility study by CRNI, which confirmed the benefits of a network to support reuse and repair operators in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Resources Network (NIRN) connects community groups, charities and social enterprises across Northern Ireland to promote less waste and supports the growth and collaboration between reuse and repair organisations. Member benefits include funding information, member events, training, support network, representation at policy and sector tables and news updates. To find out more, please see our membership policy here.

NIRN members are 4R’s Reuse Workshop, Belfast City Council, Belfast Tool Library, British Heart Foundation, Cloughmills Community Action Team, FareShare NI, Derry City & Strabane District Council, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, Repair Café Belfast and Zero Waste North West. NIRN and its members contribute to the positive environmental, community and social changes that alter how people in Northern Ireland consume and preserve resources. The organisation provides opportunities for collaboration between reuse and repair organisations and delivers information on funding, training and business opportunities.

The network is supported by a Steering Committee of representatives from DAERA and CRNI and reuse and repair organisations in Northern Ireland, which are Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, East Belfast Mission, Zero Waste North West, Repair Café Belfast and FareShare NI.

Funding Opportunities

Connecting and Collaborating

Learn and grow

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

Why is there a need for a network?

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.

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

Pilot project

This DAERA-funded 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 is 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, Northern Ireland Resources Network (NIRN), is being 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.

Northern Ireland Resources Network (NIRN) is a CRNI project funded by DAERA

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Our funders

EPA National Waste Prevention Programme

CRNI supports its members and works to mainstream reuse thanks to core funding provided by the EPA under the National Waste Prevention Programme.

For more information about the programme see here.

Project Funding

Pilot Northern Ireland Reuse and Repair Network

CRNI received funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and rural Affairs in 2020 to carry out a pilot establishing a reuse and repair network in Northern Ireland.

For more information about the project see here.

Circular Textiles

CRNI is leading an EPA Green Enterprise project Circular Textiles, which will test the impact of three different separate collection systems for textiles and explore how we could manage the additional quantity of textiles that are collected. This project will be concluded in 2022.

For more information about the project see here.