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New Pottery for Gateshead

Funded on Spacehive 29 May 2019

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

New Pottery for Gateshead

Bensham Pottery By Bensham Pottery

Feasibility study to build a new pottery workshop on site at Bensham Grove Community Centre, Gateshead. Help us bring our community together by giving them space to create together!

Gateshead Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 29 May 2019!

Over 250 people come to our tiny community pottery space every week, with many more on waiting lists wanting to join. We want to make our pottery available to more local people and to do this we need to expand. If we create new workshop space we could offer classes to more individuals, parents and children, schools, young adults and special needs groups. People who come to the pottery tell us that find it beneficial for many reasons: learning new skills, meeting other people, sharing ideas, making friends, taking on challenges, being able to express themselves creatively, feeling inspired and focusing on something other than work or domestic duty. This contributes to their sense of wellbeing, self-confidence and reduces social isolation. We would also be able to run collaborative projects to create artworks for public spaces. Participants would be contributing positively to their community and local environment, increasing their sense of self-worth, value and civic pride.

What we'll deliver:

  • Architects plans
  • Feasibility study and site surveys
  • Planning permission

Why it's a great idea:

People from all walks of life love coming to our pottery classes. They gain not just a new skill but increased confidence, a new social network, improved mental health, and, make beautiful things to take home. As one participant said: ‘All week I am a worker, a mother and a worrier, but on Thursdays I can make things in clay among friends’. In order to open our doors to new people, we need to build a new workshop. It would benefit local people by providing: • a new learning space • creative alternatives to screen-based activities for young people • new revenue for the community centre to support its long term sustainability The first step towards this is to raise £12,000 to get a feasibility study underway. The existing pottery and silversmithing groups are fully involved and have raised £2,000.00 so far. The Trustees of Bensham Grove have given us permission to create a new workshop & we have the support of Gateshead learningSkills and North East Creative Craft

Steps to get it done:

  • site and soil survey
  • electricity and gas surveys
  • architect to draw up plans
  • structural survey requirements
  • submit plans for planning permission

In addition to providing wider access to local people, the creation of a new craft workshop would be a significant asset to Bensham Grove, bring greater footfall into the centre and create a new cultural venue for Gateshead. It would be a new creative venue for local people to benefit from for generations to come. Bensham Grove is steeped in applied arts history, with many features in the house created by the William Morris workshop. A new pottery would continue this inspirational philosophy of excellence in the crafts. The classes on offer cater for all levels of skill, from complete beginner through to Access to Higher Education courses. The success of the pottery and silversmithing classes is due to the long term commitment of the teaching staff, the considerable support of the team of 40 volunteers, alongside Gateshead Councils learningSkills who employ and train the tutors in order to offer high quality teaching in an outstanding resource.

Location Gateshead

About the space

This is a flat site within the grounds of Bensham Grove Community Centre, formerly used as an allotment site. The centre is located in the middle of Bensham, and serves a diverse and multi-cultural community. Gateshead has an excellent track record of making art accessible to the local community through participation and engagement


Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council

How will the money be spent?Total £12,625

architects fees - £2,800 (22%)
structural survey fees - £1,800 (14%)
quantity surveying - £1,800 (14%)
power needs investigation - £1,200 (10%)
Ground investigation report - £1,200 (10%)
contingency - £1,000 (8%)
planning and listed building permission - £924 (7%)
administration - £500 (4%)
power grid plan enquiry - £180 (1%)
Gas network enquiry - £180 (1%)
Other - £1,041 (8%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

architects fees
structural survey fees
quantity surveying
power needs investigation
Ground investigation report
planning and listed building permission
power grid plan enquiry
Gas network enquiry
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Coal Authority Permission
  • Transaction Fees
  • VAT
  • Water and sewage plan


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • Buying a new kiln, a wheel and offering free taster sessions for local people

Total £12,625

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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