By Community Reporter Johnny Dadds
Local people are being trained to produce and renovate tables and chairs in a new pop-up factory in Knowle West.
The project will also be providing sustainable furniture for Filwood Green Business Park – a centre for Bristol’s environmental businesses run by the City Council and due to open this spring.
Located on the site of the former Eagle House Youth Centre in Newquay Road, the factory is providing employment and skills training for people from the area.
Project Manager Justin Ricks from Knowle West Media Centre explains: “This contract with Midas construction – the main building contractor of the Business Park – has allowed us to provide local employment while sourcing everything locally where possible…
“People are really pleased to hear something positive is happening in this building and in the area. By providing training we hope people can progress in this field.”
The factory employs five staff members who all live in South Bristol, including two apprentices, Cameron Burrell (21) from Bedminster, and Knowle West resident and former postman Steve Probert.
Steve (52) says: “I was a postman for 14 years… I’ve got an injury in my foot and arthritis, which limited the duties I can do, so 18 months ago I took ill health retirement.
“I’m learning how to put the furniture together … I’d like to get involved in getting more skills for myself and training other people.”
The pop-up factory also offers opportunities for local volunteers to help re-purpose old furniture.
Technician Tom Barnes who runs the CNC milling machine says there will be a chance in the future for people to learn some of the factory skills.
He explains: “There are plans to do workshops for people who are interested in having access to the machine.”