A RE-USE and repurposing expert from Chester is developing a new line in easy to assemble structures which can be used for everything from disaster relief shelters to children’s play dens.

Paul Ridley is a familiar sight at car boot sales across North East Wales and Cheshire where he sells screws, bolts, fixtures and fittings.

His social enterprise operation Cabinz Cic uses four giant units at Lock Stock Self-Storage on River Lane, Saltney, where the security and flexibility of lease are an attraction.

Paul’s plan is for a low-cost kit that would provide the hardware to turn unwanted plastic and wooden panels into cheap and easily assembled panels to divide rooms to save energy or build foldable shelters based on a six-sided design called a hexa-yurt.

He said: “These hexa-yurts are ideal for swift assembly and made with the right materials they will be cheap, tough, durable and weather-proof, ideal disaster-relief shelters, animal pens, or room dividers – or even children’s play dens.

“I have designed the shelter using unwanted metal-sided foam sandwich panels with metal hinges so it can easily and quickly be put up and taken down and folded up and stored away when unused and this would allow these materials to be reused and not become waste.”

Paul’s design is still at the prototype stage but he has already used the panels to make animal shelters including organic chicken coops and works with allotment groups on building greenhouses.

In the meantime he is continuing to squirrel away vast quantities of manufacturers’ unwanted materials to give them a new lease of life.

His units at Lock Stock Chester in Saltney are Aladdin’s caves of fixtures, fittings, nuts, bolts, screws, hinges and nails of all sorts of shapes and sizes and the 40-foot long, 2,500 cubic foot containers are ideal for his storage needs.

Cabinz Cic grew from a voluntary group, The Cabinz Project, started by Paul in 2014 and since then it has supplied community groups and small businesses from a stock of several million items of hardware and fixings and he’s always looking for new customers.

He has designed greenhouses and disaster shelters, and donated to art material reuse charity Scrapstores in Runcorn, men’s shed groups and wood recycling charities.

Paul said: “When the makers of screws have boxes that have been split, they just put all the screws, of every size, into a big box and sell them at knockdown prices – I buy them, get them sorted into empty ice-cream tubs and then re-sell them at low cost or give to charities and low-income groups.

“They’re a good buy now that the price of steel has doubled because of international demand."