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Tim is promised Mayor’s cash to turn empty basement in Poplar tower block into recycle workshop

PUBLISHED: 13:20 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 07:50 15 August 2017

Tim Barklem (peak cap) teaching at Rejuvenate UK workshop in east London. Picture: Rejuvenate UK

Tim Barklem (peak cap) teaching at Rejuvenate UK workshop in east London. Picture: Rejuvenate UK

Rejuvenate UK

Artist Tim Barklem is desperately looking for businesses to help his social project to convert an empty basement in a tower block in east London into a recycling training centre.

He has just won a £25,000 crowdfunding pledge from the Mayor of London for his ‘East London Makerspace’ scheme for Poplar’s Carradale House at St Leonard’s Road—but now needs to find another £40,000 before the September 16 deadline.

His Rejuvenate UK not-for-profit organisation based at Trinity Buoy Wharf in Blackwall has backing from Poplar Harca housing to turn the unused Carrredale House basement to good use. Backing has also come from Tower Hamlets Council.

“It’s a tough battle raising the funds,” he told the Advertiser. “We need support from businesses in the community. I have been sending out many emails and letters for help.”

The 58-year-old arts specialist also staged two exhibitions at The Cabin community centre on Poplar’s Aberfeldy Estate last week to put the public in the picture.

“We want to use the basement for workshops to teach how to create products from waste,” Tim explained.

“We also train people to set up their own business or social enterprise to make viable products from scratch, put them into production and how to market them.”

Tim was “over the moon” when the City Hall crowdfunding event pledged £25,000, but still has to raise the rest of the £60,000 needed—with only four weeks to go.

One East End company, Mears Construction in Old Ford, has pledged £2,000 towards the project, Tim revealed. It employs its own carpenters who want to get involved.

The Carradale House basement has not been used since the block was built in the 1970s. Tim wants to “put it to good use” while teaching youngsters to recycle material that his organisation collects from hotels and other companies and help tackle the East End’s high youth unemployment.

His organisation hopes to expand later to take on other unused spaces and has already run a similar project in Hackney for the London Gypsy Travellers’ Unit at London Fields.

Supporters can go online at the Spacehive website or email tim@actiondog.net

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