What a tragedy and terrible indictment on our so-called civilised society that the Engine Shed is to close at the end of this week.
As a highly regarded social enterprise, it has helped to nurture the potential of many young individuals, challenged by disability, for 25 years, while producing nourishing food of exceptional quality for the local community.
Yet in this current heartless climate, dictated by the chicanery of global finance, the Engine Shed, once poignantly associated with the Innocent Railway, now seems sadly anachronistic and the council has decided to withdraw critical funding.
This follows in the wake of the closures of Remploy and Blindcraft, two other well-established local social enterprises that offered employment opportunities to disadvantaged individuals.
So much for having faith in governance and the democratic process, for although the Engine Shed is overwhelmingly supported by local politicians, who have variously described it as “first class” and “a gem”, and the wider community, who signed a petition in 2013 which attracted more than 10,000 signatures of support, it seems democracy is even more of a pretence than this fantasy world of money.
What is becoming of what was once known as “the City of Enlightenment”?
For a nation that once produced the world’s most famous philanthropist in Andrew Carnegie, surely there must be some benevolent individual who could rescue the fortunes of the Engine Shed, even at this final hour.
JK Rowling probably earns enough in royalties in the time it takes her to make a cup of tea to more than save this wonderful venture.
What a tangible legacy that would be. An online 38-degree petition has been established for those who wish to add their signature in support.