Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

New partnership opportunities with Arts Factory enterprise

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We’ve received the following informaton from the Arts Factory, which is looking to develop new partnerships around one of its social enterprises – Factory Books.

Arts Factory

Arts Factory is a development trust, based in the Rhondda, that was created in 1990 by local people who were tired of being labelled as “problems” and who wanted to work together to improve the quality of their lives.  We aim to create life changing opportunities for people who feel marginalised or excluded, to treat all people as assets, and to be a robust community anchor organisation.  Sustainable development is at the heart of our values and we are longstanding members of Cylch, the community recycling and re-use network for Wales.

Factory Books

Three years ago Arts Factory launched Factory Books, a social enterprise selling used, collectable books on-line through the Amazon Marketplace.  We now hold a stock of over 20,000 books and are regularly dispatching books to customers from all over the world from our warehouse in the Rhondda.  Upwards of thirty regular volunteers help to make this happen.  The experience helps them to develop new skills, a supportive social network, self-confidence and self-esteem.  The success of the enterprise depends on the quality of our stock, competitive pricing, and first class customer service.  We are good at it and our feedback reflects that.

Factory Books contributes significantly to Arts Factory’s triple bottom line.  Economically by generating income to help meet our operating costs, socially by creating a range of volunteering opportunities that enable people to learn and develop, and environmentally by diverting books from the waste stream.

Partnership opportunities

We have partnership arrangements in place with a number of other organisations who harvest books for us which we then sell on-line for them in return for a share of the sale price.  Not all books by any means are suitable for on-line sales.  We filter out the good stuff and recycle the rest.  We’d be very happy to enter into a similar arrangement with Cylch members or any other organisations that share our values.

We are also looking for partners who would like to sell used books off-line.  We have a large stock of varied books in excellent condition that are not worth anything on-line but are too good to recycle.  Generally speaking, more specialist books sell well on-line and populist books sell well on the high street. We have many thousands of books that will sell well from the right location.   We can supply the stock on a sale or return basis in return for a share of the sale price.

If you are interested in a partnership arrangement with Factory Books please contact Elwyn James on 01443 757954 or

Please visit us at  


Written by Ieuan Nash

September 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

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