Edinburgh Tool Library

Edinburgh Tool Library

At a glance


  • Climate action
  • Environment
  • Local / community
  • Poverty relief

Other details

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Geographical remit: 


Edinburgh Tool Library: We are changing the way Edinburgh builds a better future. Much like a regular library, we bring people together, but by lending tools rather than books. We also offer our members free workshops to learn how to use tools effectively, along with free access to our workshop spaces to put their skills to use. No previous knowledge of using tools or how to make things is required - we are open to everyone.

Making an impact: Our aim is to support households, particularly those on low-incomes, to improve their living environments and live more sustainable lives through sharing resources. By borrowing tools rather than buying them we have saved households an incredible £1.5m. A worthwhile saving considering the average drill is used just 13 minutes in its lifetime! We protect the environment too; buying these tools would mean an extra 180 tonnes of CO2 pollution, the equivalent of driving a car around the world 180 times!


Community support: Although our household and environmental impact is huge, at our heart is addressing social challenges across our city. We have delivered 100+ community projects which have provided opportunities for communities, particularly young people, elderly and minority groups, to come together and learn new life and employability skills. What’s more, we have a thriving volunteer programme offering opportunities for our dedicated team of volunteers to support our work. In return, we ensure our volunteers receive training and learn new skills in a fun and supportive environment.

Building a better future: As Edinburgh continues to recover from the pandemic, explore new ways to tackle the climate emergency, and at the same time cope with the cost-of-living crisis, we are ramping up our efforts to help communities who need us the most. We have projects to help people insulate their homes, reduce energy costs, repair household items and grow their own food. Projects to support young people into employment and help the elderly out of isolation. Projects promoting an inclusive, sustainable and more prosperous way of life.

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