The Lawrence Street, Workshops is home to woodworkers, metalworkers, a cycle repair shop and so much more. Formerly stables that prepared new horses for work in Belfast, the establishment still stands to educate. Martin Carter established the workshop in 1982, since then it has housed artists, taught young people traditional and largely forgotten recycling methods. One standout achievement is that the workshop literally produced a concrete motto for government. IH Belfast visited their neighbour ahead of the Eco app launch to learn more about local sustainability projects.
Martin has identified his base as a place of up not recycling for 30 years, and while upcycling has become trendy, he believes it has lost its way. “Upcycling isn’t painting an old stool white, it’s taking that stool apart and creating something new, a new use, a table maybe,” says Martin surrounded by upcycled works. As you move from the woodwork rooms to a rehearsal space, you get a taste of the genuine hard work around you. During the school’s visit, the workshop team were making furniture for nearby Lavery’s bar using salvaged materials. There may be an onsite showroom, but the workshop is not a place for idle hands.