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Community workshops make DIY accessible in France

A growing number of community workshops have sprung up in France offering DIY enthusiasts access to space, equipment and skills to develop their projects

Shared workshops offer DIY space to those that do not have it at home Pic: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Recent years have seen a growing interest in DIY skills, and many workshops have sprung up allowing people to share their know-how. 

The workshops, which are often run by associations, are particularly useful for apartment-dwellers who do not have the space for DIY projects at home. 

Read more: Leroy Merlin voted France’s favourite DIY shop: do you agree?

L’Atelier des Bricoleurs, for example, is a Toulouse-based cooperative with professional tools available for use that offers classes and workshops for anyone wanting to learn new skills, such as painting, metalwork and joinery. 

Similarly, Gueules de Bois in Nantes provides workspaces and woodworking machines, with the goal of allowing people to share their knowledge and help one another. 

They also offer the opportunity to take classes or join community volunteering projects. 

Other ateliers partagés (community workshops) include BricoLab (Ardèche), Les Copeaux d’Abord (Grenoble) and La Menuiserie Collaborative (Montpellier). 

On a smaller scale, there are hundreds of ‘repair cafes’ all across France, where you can bring household objects – from small pieces of furniture to electrical appliances – and have access to tools and advice to repair them yourself. 

Here the impetus is environmental, with the objective being to prevent objects ending up in landfills.

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