Our Story

Ragtag Arts & Community Scrapstore is an arts and crafts shop in Kendal with a difference…

We (being brother & sister, Josh & Emily) set up Kendal’s first Scrapstore in 2016, bringing the Scrapstore movement to Cumbria following several years of success with Ragtag Arts at festivals and in schools. 


But the idea of Scrapstore had been with us much longer... 

Growing up in Wiltshire we both loved visiting our local Scrapstore as it provided us with amazing resources to satisfy our creative childhoods. As we grew older and both became community artists, Scrapstores across the country served us well again; providing each of us with the affordable materials for our projects. 


One Christmas (after a glass or two of red wine!) Emily convinced Josh to relocate to Kendal, in the Lake District, to launch Ragtag Arts. Alongside the community events side of the company was the vision of setting up a Scrapstore, a much needed resource for Kendal and Cumbria. 

Thanks to support from Cumbria Community Foundation and Cumbria Waste Management Environmental Trust, we were able to locate a venue in Mealbank and launch Kendal’s first Scrapstore!


We were so excited to be able to provide unique, second hand craft resources whilst also helping the planet by diverting waste from landfill, another cause close to both of our hearts. 


However, thanks to the support from the community we soon ran out of space. In 2018 we moved around the corner in the Mealbank Mill Industrial Estate to a much larger unit. This space allows us to increase our craft supplies stored as well as host workshops, artist studios and a community coffee shop.

As the company has grown so has the team. At the start of 2020 we welcomed Chris and Emma to the leadership team, together we have even more plans to grow the project, so watch this space!


What We Do

We collect clean, safe waste from local businesses that would otherwise go to landfill. 

We then work with the network of Scrapstores around the country (Reuseful UK), trading scrap, enabling us to stock our Kendal shop with an amazing variety of resources.


However we are much more than just a shop; we are a creative community hub packed with artist studios, workshops and a coffee shop.


Ragtag Arts is also active in the community; running workshops at festivals and schools & creating bespoke murals and creations across the North West.


To use the Scrapstore it is essential you become a member, this is completely free and involves completing a simple form when you arrive.  


View membership T&Cs

Become a Member

The Team


Josh Simpson

Co -Director & Events Coordinator



"I am passionate about creativity in all its forms and believe that the arts play an important role in bringing communities together. My experience and interests as an artist are varied and multi-disciplined, having worked as a visual artist, in theatre and with the circus. I am really interested in collaborative works combining visual art and performance. My general rule is the bigger the better!"

Emily Dewhurst

Co - Director, Scrapstore & Volunteer Coordinator



"I love to make, I think there is something really special about the creative process and its potential to inspire and empower people. I have worked as a community artist in the area for the last 7 years, and am passionate about delivering workshops that encouraging people to think about our planet"

Chris Eastman

Co - Director & Paint man



Emma Robertson

Co -Director & Program Coordinator



Emma Lowe

Saturday Assistant


Ragtag Arts & Community Scrapstore

Unit 15 Mealbank Mill Ind Est





01539 232552


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