Places for People in partnership with Travis Perkins Managed Services is funding the fitting out of a commercial unit in Edinburgh (Urban Eden), as part of the #socialspace initiative. This works to provide social businesses with premises at free or reduced rates in order to help them thrive and grow.  

The funds will enable this site, currently a vacant commercial unit, to be the new home of The Edinburgh Tool Library (ETL). ETL is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation and Funding will be used to fit out the space with power, plumbing, security shutters, intruder alarm, an accessible toilet, heating, lighting and entry system. 

What is a tool library? Well, put simply, a tool library is first a simple idea – it works like a normal library but with tools instead of books. The team behind the idea have created a ‘servie’ that brings assets into the community for people to access.  

With it, brings opportunities for learning new skills, improving the living spaces of participants and It will make DIY more accessible to many more people. The team at ETL will be stocking thousands of tools and offering a platform of education along with them. They aim to bring members together to build and learn by sharing skills and knowledge. “When you become a member, you become part of a wider community. We run many workshops and programs to help people empower themselves with the knowledge they need to use tools themselves.” The safety of using these tools will be maximised and also ensure longevity in any DIY home maintenance that is carried out thereafter. 

“We share tools in order to maximise the number of times each tool is used, reduce waste, and make access to tools affordable for everyone.” Tools are expensive and not everyone can afford them. Home DIY and renovations budgets can be eaten up by tools and products in the very early stages. In their first 5 years, ETL have saved their members £875,000 by having the option to borrow instead of buy. And they’re not only saving money for the members, but space too. Those residents without sheds/garages and large amounts of storage space will not have to worry about finding a home for these appliances.  

With environmental sustainability now playing a huge part in most businesses’ decision making, this initiative will also be kind to the planet. “If a drill is used for just 13 minutes of its lifetime and spends the rest of its time collecting dust somewhere, why not share it with your neighbours? By using less and sharing more, the Tool Library helps us all save on the packaging, water, fuel and rare earth minerals that go into producing each tool.” Every tool borrowed reduces the member’s carbon footprint by approximately 11.5kg (equivalent to driving 40 miles in an average petrol car). 

As you can see, construction has already started and is well underway with the expectation of an opening date in April 2022. As a fantastic community-building opportunity, TP Managed Services are excited to see the finished results when the time comes. 

If you would like more information on how Travis Perkins Managed Services helps support local communities with community investment projects, then visit our social value page. As a supply chain solutions provider, we are passionate about giving back to the community and trying to build a better environment for everyone to live in. If you would like to get in touch, then send us an email at