Chris: Yes, i’m aware of OSE.
They are one of my sources of inspiration.
Closer to home there are already loads of maker spaces (including a FabLab) in London, see e.g. http://openworkshopnetwork.com/
Yes, i’m a member of their forums, and their mailing list. While i personally know some of their members, i still haven’t been able to get to one of the regular meet-ups.
Some of these are co-ops too, or very co-operative/ collaborative in nature if not an actual co-op (e.g. London Hackspace).
I’ve been a member of London Hackspace for nearly 8 years. I helped build out version 2.0 of the workshop in the third venue that we had, and i personally built the first set-up for bicycle maintenance & repair, and stocked that with the spare components that i had available.
i also started the work on welding equipment, which led them to have arc, MIG, and TIG welding equipment; was the main driver for making the metal-casting equipment; built every version of the charcoal furnaces we used, https://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/view/Project:GingeryFurnace , and built/wombled various versions of the materials storage that they were using.
I was also one of the maintainers for the mini-lathe, and i’m still learning how to build CNC machine tools.
I’m still helping them, but while the Hackspace is a great prototyping workshop, it doesn’t really work for doing production runs. Shared workshops will always have this problem, which is why i’m working on my own workshop space elsewhere, that’s more aimed with the manufacturing/production focus.
These three are actually co-operative/ community owned:
South London Hackspace
Thank you. I haven’t yet visited the SLMS, or the Remakery, and i hadn’t even heard of RARA.
And London’s biggest maker space by far, Building Bloqs, whilst not a co-op is a CIC and member-led.
I hadn’t looked at the Building Bloqs website for a few years. Their membership options have changed from the last time i looked. I’ll give them a shout. TY.
I’m not sure where you’d like to create your space but by far the biggest cost in London will be the cost of the space itself. London Hackspace have this very informative cost of hacking pie chart that over 60% of their costs is rent (and now they’re having to find somewhere new, I guess because the rent has been put up and is now utterly unaffordable).
The London hackspace had to move as their 5-year lease had come to an end, and the landlord didn’t want to renew. The landlord’s original plan was to boot everyone out, and demolish the building. I think they planned to build some luxury flats on the Hackney Road…
But, yes, the primary energy-sink for the Hackspace was in the rent for the building.
The trustees of the hackspace are currently in discussion with landlords about properties at the moment. I’ll shout here, when i know more.
Also, Josef, i saw that you are down as being one of the people in London to contact about the OSE Europe in the UK. What’s been happening?