Our town would not be the same without the furniture scheme. Established more than 20 years ago, it was pioneering. Unwanted furniture would be collected and refurbished. Some furniture would be sold raising funds that were ploughed back into the scheme. Other items were given, for a small fee, to residents in need.

At its height, the furniture Scheme had a shop, the Renaissance Centre on Tower Street, as well as its long established warehouse and shop the bottom of Weeping Cross. The Weeping Cross site will close at the end of March. Operations will remain in Oswestry and Shrewsbury but the seven staff in Ludlow will lose their local jobs.

There is a plan for an outreach scheme from Shrewsbury and Oswestry but we have yet to see details.

The furniture scheme didn’t just ensure that furniture was reused. It refurbished furniture and trained people in the skills to do that. For many of the trainees, it gave basic working skills.

That vital provision by the furniture scheme has faded in recent years. It was grant aided and when grants didn’t cover the bills, Wrekin Housing Group stepped in to support the operation. That has led to Ludlow’s furniture scheme being marginalised in a bigger group with other ambitions.

At one point, Wrekin hoped to be a major player in the Ludlow social housing market – it built houses on the old tax offices for example – but now it is not now expecting that. Shropshire Council is not a major promoter of social housing and there are few opportunities for new social housing in Ludlow where the current phase of expansion is due to come to an end in the next few years.

The furniture scheme has been vital in supporting many people in Ludlow in getting settled and getting into jobs.

It is a dozen years since I came to Ludlow. My life was a wreck. My mind was a wreck. But Ludlow has healing properties. I slept on the floor for a few days (better than a cold wet bench) and then I got a delivery from the furniture scheme. A comfortable bed. Bedding. A sofa. With the help of the furniture scheme, new friends and our excellent GP services I got on an even keel.

We still need this support in Ludlow. There are many people who are struggling right now. The cost of living crisis is hitting everyone but it is hitting the most vulnerable and those that have lost their way in life most.

Revive, the latest name for the furniture scheme, will be running an outreach distributing from Shrewsbury and Oswestry.

Tracey Huffer comments:

“This is bad news for Ludlow and our community. The furniture scheme has been part of the fabric of Ludlow for two decades. It paved the way for many other schemes. Helping a lot of people on the way. Not just by providing furniture. The scheme has worked to improve their skills and get them on the path to a better life.”

The announcement today is a major loss for Ludlow. We pretty much invented the concept of a furniture scheme, like we pretty much invented slow food and pretty much invented a good food town.

I am so sorry to see this pioneering scheme to go from Ludlow. It helped me and I hope even though it will now be based far away, it will still help people here.

12 thought on “Ludlow furniture scheme to close next year”
  1. What a shame and such a loss for Ludlow. We have been active users of the Furniture Scheme for many years both donating and purchasing. So sorry to see it go.

  2. This is beyond sad.
    This was much more than a Furniture warehouse, training was given to young and not so young in furniture computer refurbishment for people who couldn’t afford them.
    The worst thing that happened to Ludlow and South Shropshire was the formation of the Unitary Authority. Yet again Shrewsbury and the north of the county are spared redundancies and Ludlow people get the sticky end of the stick.

    1. For clarity. The Furniture Scheme was not connected to Shropshire Council. But you point about everything going north is correct.

  3. Heather Kidd will be asking a question on the closure at Shropshire Council’s cabinet meeting on 30 November.

  4. Could you start a GoFundMe page. I would happily donate. Such a great shame if this closes. It is much needed. 😞😞😞😞

  5. This is very sad news!! In my opinion this is needed MORE THAN EVER,giving the current situation. Is there nothing Our Community can do to try and reverse this terrible decision??

  6. Is there nothing we can do to preserve this Scheme.
    I am sure there would be groundswell of public support if people were aware of this plan to close it. It seems so counter productive in the current situation and is really sad.

  7. I live in Alveley just south of Bridgnorth and have used the scheme to get furniture repaired and refurbished several times over the years and did so,knowing that it was encouraging and training people and passing on skills that would otherwise be lost.
    Is there not a local company that could tuck the scheme in and work with a charity to keep it going.?

  8. Surely, the aims of the Furniture Scheme (as a charity) align with those of other Ludlow based schemes, like Hands Together, GCL, etc, who look to support those in need. The raison d’etre for such schemes is growing as the cost of living isses multiply. Is there no way the Furniture Scheme can be absorbed within the Hands Together framework? If you look at number of reusable items donated to the FS, these will end up going to waste collection – this cannot be good for the planet. i will Join Ann Brown in making a donation towards keeping the Scheme going.

  9. I have recently been involved in raising money through grants and there are lots of grants out there that may help with this. Is it possible for someone at the scheme to apply for grants? I could advise them who to try.

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