We aim to transform an empty shop on a high street in Custom House into a makerspace/ messy space to serve as a hub for the community to develop eco products. The space will be equipped with specialist machinery as well as offer training, skills and jobs to the neighbourhood, where at the moment there just isn’t enough opportunity. ELM has been developing a catalogue of circular products including a furniture collection, so the makerspace will double as a retail gallery for locally made prototypes. The shop will create eco-designers, and encourage local youth to upskill and experiment with the jobs of the 21st century. ELMS places a special emphasis on offering advice and help to launch careers, and provide mobility for young people in the borough by fostering entrepreneurial activity.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Every community should have a messy space for art, craft, and prototyping (and showcase local talent!), so we will make sure to provide a space for the creativity of everyone. We want to show what a high street looks like when people are given the opportunity to work their hands and develop solutions for their area. Custom House is a desert in terms of opportunities for youth - we want to run workshops for and with local young people, to learn, play and experiment. The world is changing fast and waste needs a rethink - we want to turn waste into a resource and help create many new sustainable businesses. (And cut down on landfill) The circular economy is the future and we want to upskill East London into being the pioneers of new circular business models.
Steps to get it done:
ELMS is working with Civic as part of a much wider project to transform 7 abandoned high street shops into new community spaces for making, playing, sharing, learning etc. As such the makerspace will not be a standalone initiative but a piece of a wider collaborative project with residents and social enterprises to transform and reclaim Freemasons road. Among other spaces there will be a community garden, a community kitchen a skills trading shop - all of which are projects for the makerspace to connect with, from creating special furniture to reclaiming waste streams.
About the space
Custom House, a neighbourhood under regeneration in East London. A passionate community, battling to revive its high street.
London Borough of Newham
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