A scheme to help the community by offering low cost household items and training opportunites has officially launched.
Furniture Matters has opened on the site of the former Golf store in Caunce Street selling upcycled furniture, washing machines, IT and electrical goods at low cost.
It is part of a not-for-profit social enterprise run by The Calico Group and furniture restoration skills experts Shabby2Chic, supported by donations from Blackpool Council through its bulky waste removal contract.
Donated items are repaired and restored by trainees and volunteers at a recycling warehouse on Bristol Avenue.
So far, more than 80 people have learnt new skills around repairing furniture and fixing computers, designed to improve their employability and overall wellbeing.
With a 12-month warranty on all electrical items sold and local delivery, the store offers great value for the community and is an alternative to high interest loans.
All the money made from sales goes into improving training opportunities at the workshop and helping support recycling in Blackpool, including keeping the household waste and recycling centre open six days a week and the Rover mobile tip service.
Coun Christine Wright, Blackpool council’s cabinet member responsible for the shop, said: “While the store offers extremely good value furniture and white goods, it is about so much more than just bagging a bargain.
“Working with Furniture Matters, we’re using the idea of recycling to help people across the town to take on work placements and learn new skills that will help them to secure a new full time job or get them back into education.”
Sam Howarth, operations manager for Furniture Matters said: “Our new retail store in Blackpool is a fantastic opportunity for us to do even more good work for the community by ensuring that those basics needed to set up or maintain a home are available to everyone.”