Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Engine Shed in Edinburgh to close after 25 years

The Engine Shed

An Edinburgh cafe, bakery and catering centre run by disabled workers is closing down after 25 years.

At least 16 disabled trainees and over a dozen staff will lose their jobs when the Engine Shed shuts this week.

It is the latest disabled workplace to shut following the closures of Blindcraft and Remploy in recent years.

Campaigners argue the majority of workers at Remploy are still out of work.

The Engine Shed has trained youngsters with learning disabilities for jobs in the catering trade, giving them the chance to find work and get off benefits.

Edinburgh City Council, which funded the training, is changing to a new supported employment system which it insists will be more effective. But critics say many youngsters need help before they're ready for the workplace.

The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland argued the closure came amid declining employment for disabled people. It pointed to Remploy where more than 75% are still out of work two years after it closed.

Toni Gibson, employee, said: "It is going to be sad for me because it's good for people like me to learn more skills, more friends and new places."

Marian Macdonald, Engine Shed chief executive, said: "I feel very sad that all the work and experience we have put into the place is just going to be cut.

"My hope would have been people could have worked with us to help us carry on."

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