Funding secured for Makespace Oxford

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Funding has been secured to provide truly affordable working and making space for Oxford community groups and social enterprises.

We’re thrilled to announce that funding has been granted to continue the work we are doing with Aspire Oxford, Transition by Design and Broken Spoke Bike Coop to bring truly affordable community working and making space to Oxford. We’re hugely grateful to the Oxford Community Foundation’s Step Change Fund, the Old Bakehouse Trust, the Sankalpa Trust and Wadham College for seeing the potential in Makespace Oxford and contributing their valuable expertise and resources.

The funding of £90,000 will cover the fit-out of the building and the core running costs for the two-year pilot phase of the Makespace Project. The intention is then to develop a self-sustaining business model, including a small surplus to develop new premises in a model that seeks to leverage Oxford’s empty and under-used space for community benefit and raise awareness of new and creative uses for urban space. 

Colin Alexander, co-founder of Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s Step Change Fund, said: 

“We are delighted to be able to provide support from the Step Change Fund for Makespace
Oxford to pilot their community space idea. The funding application made a great case for the benefit to the whole community in making creative and productive use of an empty building. We also hope that this project will be a proof of concept, showing that empty spaces generally can be put to positive use and that the idea is sustainable, with detailed plans in place for incubating and growing the idea of cross-community collaboration beyond the use of the Aristotle Lane site.”

Vyvyan Salmon, Company Secretary of the Old Bakehouse Trust said; 

“Our donation will help Makespace Oxford to convert the building into a number of workspaces for a variety of individuals and groups to occupy in order to start or grow their businesses. We hope that these businesses will benefit from access to other users encountering similar problems to themselves and that the building will be cooperatively managed for the benefit of everyone. The money is to give Makespace Oxford the potential to get the building substantially occupied as soon as possible.”

Local residents have welcomed the news. Liz Wade, St Margarets Ward Councillor said; 

“This is an excellent use for a building which has been empty. Local residents are pleased that the building will be let to social enterprise groups and managed by Makespace over the next 2/3 years. It is reassuring to know that Wadham and Makespace are concerned to get things right with neighbours, for example through managing delivery times at a busy junction will be a priority. The community wishes Makespace every success.”

The this first space on Aristotle Lane, Makespace Oxford will be able to accommodate at least a dozen organisation with the hope that many more will benefit from the space through room hire for workshops, events, meetings and support. Makespace Oxford will be home to a community events space, meeting rooms, an edible garden, a community café and a making and workshop space. It will be home to community organisations spanning arts & culture, food, architecture and design, small-scale manufacturing and campaigning. Makespace Oxford will actively seek to involve marginalised and vulnerable communities through training, workshops, a community café and employment opportunities.

Andy Edwards, Founding Director of Makespace Oxford and Director of Transition by Design said: 

“This is a great example of what can happen when a college, the council and a community work together. I’d like to thank Wadham College for showing such a leading example and helping us to make this happen.”

Makespace Oxford is actively looking for community groups and social enterprises with a social or environmental benefit to their work who would like to co-locate in the building. They are offering affordable and subsidised rent and the first round of applications are open until 25 th February. Interested groups should contact info@makespaceoxford.org or visit fb.com/MakespaceOxford.