When we started Transition by Design, one of our biggest struggles was affordable space. As we worried about space and rent, we saw many other community organisations, big and small, established and embryonic struggling with just the same thing – affordable space in which to make, create, meet, think and do. We wanted to do something about the strangulation of social impact and community development by market rents.
So, we’re very excited to announce the imminent opening of Makespace Oxford, a new and affordable hub for makers, charities, workers coops, community groups and social enterprises in Oxford.
We’ve been working in collaboration with Aspire Oxford, Broken Spoke Bike Coop and the Community Action Group project to secure a two-year lease on Aristotle House in North Oxford, an office building owned by Wadham College and scheduled for redevelopment.
We’re prototyping a model which we hope will leverage Oxford’s empty and under-used space for community benefit and raise awareness of new and creative uses for urban space. And we need you.
We are offering subsidised rents to social enterprises, charities and workers cooperatives working on social and environmental justice issues. We are particularly keen to hear from organisations that need workshop, making, fixing and training spaces which are so difficult to find in Central Oxford.
Applications are now open. As a member you will have access to office, meeting and events space in our canalside building. You’ll be a part of an exciting community hub including a workshop and maker space, an edible garden, a community cafe and a vibrant network of like-minded organisations.
Makespace Oxford will nurture existing groups, projects and enterprises as well as hopefully sparking new ideas, partnerships and innovation. Makespace Oxford will actively seek to involve marginalised and vulnerable communities through training, workshops, a community café and employment opportunities.
We know that there are so many fantastic community initiatives happening in Oxford but the lack of affordable space is causing a worrying number to fail. Makespace Oxford sets an exciting precedent for what’s possible when a college, the council and a community work together.
We’d like to thank Wadham College and Oxford City Council for helping us make Makespace Oxford a reality.
Applications are open until 25th February. Interested groups should contact [email protected] or visit fb.com/MakespaceOxford. There will be an ‘open house’ event for prospective tenants to view the building on Wednesday 21 February from 2-5pm, interested parties should email [email protected].