We’re very excited indeed to announce that we’ve been selected as a beneficiary of the GLA’s High Street Fund, which seeks to revitalise and strengthen London’s high streets. We started applying for this money towards the end of last year, when the space was still an empty shell full of building materials – on the off-chance that someone at City Hall understood what we were about and could maybe let a few thousand pounds go. It turns out that they very much understand what we’re about, and were happy to give us the maximum available under the scheme: £20,000.
So what does this mean for SLMS? The short answer is that we can jump straight onto building Phase 2 of the space, and buy a bunch of nice tools to go in it. The original plan called for Phase 1 to be open for a year or two while we gradually saved up enough money.
The long answer is that we will be able to build two new workshop rooms at the back of the arch, one for generally “messy” work and the other for noisy/dusty equipment like the bandsaw. We’ll be able to install a proper ventilation and heat recovery system to keep the damp out and the heat in. We’ll be buying a desktop CNC machine, an overlocker and an embroidery sewing machine, an oscilloscope, a proper electronics work bench, a full set of woodworking hand tools, a powerful workstation for 3D graphics and design, a new projector, and screen printing equipment. We’ll be able to establish a fund for running workshops and events.
We were expecting to run a marathon, but instead we’ve been given a lift to the home straight and can now sprint for the finishing line. We can’t thank the GLA enough for this fantastic opportunity, and we hope you’ll all join us to build Phase 2 of South London Makerspace.
Just as soon as we finish Phase 1, of course.