The Engine Shed: Update

The Engine Shed: Update
Marian MacDonald


Coming up to three months since I handed back the keys to the Engine Shed and moved into temporary office accommodation so think it is about time to give an update on progress made!


The process of uprooting and establishing ourselves in new premises took time and wasn’t without challenges. After 25 years of being based in the one place we were definitely on the move! Our IT/Tel connections didn’t work in the initial place  we moved to and  we had no sooner unpacked and settled in than we had to pack up again in the space of about 4 weeks for a further move to our present accommodation.  We are well and truly finally settled in our new base at TechCube Summerhall and plan to remain here till we have established a new venture/permanent base.


But now it is down to business and from discussions about the first step to get ourselves re-established we decided the initial move was to investigate the feasibility of setting up a café.  The underpinning approach to this is that it has to run as a viable business and seen as a way to establish our trading and training presence again.  We feel it was vital to recreate a public presence in Edinburgh and also to acknowledge that a busy public setting is the ideal learning environment for young people to build up work skills and confidence.


My time has been spent seeking out possible venues and opportunities in Edinburgh, meeting and talking to a wide range of people. From feedback posted on Facebook there is overwhelming support to set up a new vegetarian café and some possibilities concerning venues are currently being followed up.  I will now aim to give a progress update on a regular monthly basis.


A ‘Friends of the Engine Shed’ group has also been set up and this group will support staff in matters related to fund raising and publicity.  They have met a couple of times so far and will be in touch once they have finalised a fundraising event due to be held in September both in terms for any willing helpers and also to come and join in the fun.  


I have just discovered a really easy way of raising funds for the Engine Shed called


Did you know that whenever you buy anything on-line, from weekly shop to annual holidays you could be raising a free donation for the Engine Shed? Nearly 3000 retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, M&S and Sainsbury’s will donate a percentage of the amount you spend to the Engine Shed to say thank you for shopping with them.


It is simple and doesn’t cost you anything – all you have to do is:

go to
sign up for free
start shopping and donations will be collected automatically and sent to the Engine Shed with no catches or hidden charges.

This sounds a great way to build up funds to equip our new café once we find the premises over the coming months.

Keep in touch with any ideas and feedback and I will also now promise to start regular updates too!