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Community / Saws, spades and strimmers among items likely to be on offer at first ‘tool library’

EVER been doing DIY in your home and needed a tool – but you can’t find one to borrow and you don’t want to shell out for a new one?

That problem may become a thing of the past as plans for a Shetland tool lending library come to fruition.

The community resource – which is not yet open – is being organised by Shetland Arts, which has received assistance from the Edinburgh Tool Library.

Shetland Arts technician Angus Leask servicing a router.

One key aim is to reduce waste and promote sustainability, as well as encourage creativity.

It comes as the Scottish Government announced support for a new national network of community sharing libraries and repair cafes in conjunction with Zero Waste Scotland.

The Shetland Tool Library will operate like other similar models across the UK, with a wide range of household tools available to borrow on a weekly basis via a database and collection/drop-off facility.

The range of tools will be as broad as possible, from small hand tools to power tools, spades, strimmers and more. But is largely dependent on donations from the public and local businesses.

Once the tool library is up and running, a small yearly fee will enable members to borrow as many tools as they like on a weekly loan basis.

Shetland Arts’ Jane Matthews said: “We want to make this a growing, sustainable resource and so we’re asking for support from anyone in the community who’d like to donate tools to build our tool library.

“We’ve already had one fantastic donation – a large haul of tools that has set us well on our way.

“If, like me, you have unwanted tools cluttering up your shed – perhaps something you bought for a DIY project and have never used since, please consider donating it so that it can be shared with the wider community as part of our new lending scheme.”

Donations of small tools can be delivered to Mareel or larger ones through arrangement with Jane via email on jane.matthews@shetlandarts.org

All the tools will be checked, maintained and tested by technicians at Shetland Arts and made available once the tool library is established, via an online lending database and collection/drop-off scheme which will be announced in detail in the coming months.

Zero Waste Scotland CEO Iain Gulland said: “Sharing libraries and repair cafes are not only great ways of implementing a more circular way of living, but an opportunity to get to know people and businesses doing amazing work in your community.

“We hope to see as many of these local initiatives come to fruition as soon as possible.”