About the Middlesbrough Tools Workshop

We provide a workshop environment where disused hand tools, usually donated by the families of former tradespeople in shipyards, steelworks and other industries are cleaned, refurbished, sharpened, and repaired back to a good standard of use.

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Workshop sessions

The workshop is currently open to small groups of 4 to 6 people who wish to pay to access a dedicated service.

Currently we have participants attending who may be in receipt of Personal Independent Payments or other benefits that contribute a fee to secure their weekly session.

The sessions provide an informal friendly safe space in which participants can either work on specific project (for example) creating a bespoke create of tools, or those with physical or learning disabilities may require an 'adapted area' in which they can learn new skills.

Working on refurbishing items helps to improve strength and mobility and it increases mental stimulation. The informal setting allows for good banter and friendships based on a common purpose to develop and thrive.


£10.00 per hour for a minimum 2 hours booking either 10am to 12pm or 12pm to 2pm

£40.00 for a full session starting at 10am to 2pm

Refreshments, toilets, disability access, free parking and a community café are on-site.

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Collection of unwanted tools

We can collect your tools free of charge at the most convenient time for you, if you live in and around the Middlesbrough, Stockton or Redcar area.

We can only collect hand tools, unfortunately we cannot collect electrical tools.

Many families tell us that donating the tools to our project gives them a great feeling of contentment and they are happy to see the tools being given a new life. The feeling of paying it forward and allowing the family tools or heirlooms to be refurbished is extremely rewarding.

If you have tools you would like to donate and you live outside of the above areas, please visit the Tools For Self Reliance website.

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Refurbishment of tools

Get your rusty old hand tools looking great again by submerging them in chemicals which begins the dissolving process of the coating of oxidised metal.

Sharpen your saws, replace handles or clean up spanners or ratchets.

No job is too hard or impossible without a little love, care and attention and obviously experienced staff and volunteers to guide you.

Within the workshop we still try to apply traditional tool refurbishment methods, often using skills that are no longer practised or taught.

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Sale of tools

Often a DIY job requires that special gadget to help complete the task.

Hand Tools will be displayed on a regular basis.

The majority of tools are collected directly from the workshop, but tools can also be shipped or posted for a fee.

However, our participants prefer the personal touch of handing over the tools themselves, ensuring they will truly facilitate the task and enjoying the interaction that comes with it.

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Gardening project

ARC has recently in 2022 secured an allotment plot and a small building in which gardening tools can be purchased, loaned, swapped and or repaired.

If gardening is your thing and you want to avoid buying expensive tools which are only needed once a year, then why not consider our tool hire options.

All of our gardening friends are keen to share idea’s hints and tips and if you need to practise your growing and horticulture skills then please speak to staff for further information.

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Hire our Workshop

For a fee, you can hire our workshop and/or our experienced team of staff and volunteers.

If you need a remote session or workshop delivering, then please give us a call or if you have a specific group of participants who want to create/build/develop a project please talk to us, we are always happy to adapt or evolve our services to meet community needs and local aspirations.

Become a Trustee

The directors of the Charity meet on a by-monthly basis. Meetings normally last around 2 hours and are held on an evening in Middlesbrough.