Selkirk's new "Repair Shop" set to open its doors

A community interest company urging Borderers to repair old items rather than replace them opens its doors to the public in two weeks (April 26).

Monday, 12th April 2021, 12:34 pm
Directors Dorothy Torrance and Sue Briggs are preparing the shop for the public.

Inspired in part by the hit BBC show The Repair Shop, Selkirk’s new General Store in Kirk Wynd wants people to think about sending fewer items to landfill, and instead allow their small army of handy men and women to breathe new life into them.

Directors Sue Briggs, Dorothy Torrance and Karyn O’Connor are all volunteers.

Sue said: “We are out to save as much as we can locally for landfill."

"We also do precious, feel-good fixes of items which have an emotional tie to the customer, which we don’t normally charge for.”

These have included an old lawnmower fixed for a widow whose husband had used it religiously for years, and a children’s bicycle which was lovingly restored in memory of its young owner who sadly died.

Dorothy said: “If anyone has something they would like to have repaired, they can bring it in. We have people who will assess it, decide if it can be repaired, and will let the customer know how much it would be so they can decide whether to go ahead with it or not.”

The shop has a stock of “courtesy" items, such as kettles, toasters and gardening implements, for customers’ use while their item is being repaired.

Items can also be donated, to be refurbished and put on sale in the shop.

Sue said: “The challenge with our kind of social enterprise is to make the repairs affordable, while covering our costs and being able to invest back into the business and develop other projects – like a reuse map for the Borders and different types of repair workshops.

"Electrical items in particular have come down in cost in recent years and affordability is vital to encourage repair rather than replacing with new.”

Sue added: “We are really grateful to our professional repairers, makers and volunteers who go above and beyond to help us make this happen. We were privileged to be given a start-up grant by First Port, which has been hugely helpful in covering some of our early costs.”

The shop will be open five days a week – including a Saturday and Sunday.