East Lothian furniture school adds on its own Repair Shop

Sunday June 11th 2023

Chippendale International School of Furniture

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

A furniture school is giving graduates the chance to rent work benches in two new workshops it has built to include its very own repair shop.

The Chippendale International School of Furniture, which is based outside Gifford, East Lothian, added the new workshops to provide affordable workspaces for newly qualified carpenters.

And it said part of one of the new building was also home to their antique restorer, with furniture from all over the country sent their for repairs.

The school has had to apply for retrospective planning permission for the buildings after originally thinking it was not required.

A planning application for the new workshops revealed one was built to replace a building on the site which was damaged by Storm Arwen.

And it said the buildings provided 30 workbenches for graduates of the school itself, which is in the main steading building on the site.

In its design statement the school said: “These benches offer affordable workspaces for these newly qualified carpenters to start their cabinet-making businesses from.

“Graduates in these spaces benefit from a supportive incubator environment during the difficult early years of setting up their businesses.

“They can stay in these workshops for up to 3 years after completing the professional course by which time they are more able to afford to set up their own workshops elsewhere. ”

As well as the workbenches for rent, a short term carpentry course is run in one of the workshops while the repair shop is based in the other.

The school said: “Building B includes a workspace for Clare Charleston, the school’s restoration specialist, who has worked at the school for over 25 years.

“This is where antique furniture from customers across Scotland gets restored. We are one of the only remaining antique furniture restorers in the country.”

The application also asks for permission for dust extraction plants attached to the new buildings. It is currently lodged on the council’s planning portal.

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