Our Story

Making space for sustainability, creativity and community in the UK’s least affordable city

Space in Oxford is hard to come by

Truly affordable space in Oxford is non-existent. In 2015, a small group of community-led and socially-driven organisations, struggling to find the space in which to fix, build, work and make an impact, came together to try a new approach. They formed Makespace Oxford, a Community Interest Company to find innovative ways of bringing empty and underused buildings back into community use.

Space in Oxford is hard to come by

Truly affordable space in Oxford is non-existent. In 2015, a small group of community-led and socially-driven organisations, struggling to find the space in which to fix, build, work and make an impact, came together to try a new approach. They formed Makespace Oxford, a Community Interest Company to find innovative ways of bringing empty and underused buildings back into community use.

The first Makespace Oxford has now opened in a North Oxford building owned by Wadham College and awaiting redevelopment. Twenty social enterprises, workers cooperatives, small charities and creative individuals are now working from Makespace Oxford.
The building is a catalyst, a question and a demand to make space for sustainability, creativity and community. It’s also a vibrant hub for community action, a place where new partnerships begin and ideas come to life.

Makespace Oxford CIC is a collaboration between Transition by Design, Aspire Oxford, The Community Action Group (Oxfordshire) and the Broken Spoke Bike Co-op. We’re now looking for new buildings, new opportunities to bring empty, underused and unloved structures back to life for the benefit of the local community. If you know of space like this then we’d love to hear from you.
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Our Community

Transition by Design

Founding Partner
Architecture and strategic design with a purpose

Website

Aspire Oxford

Founding Partner 
Providing services and creating opportunities for the long-term unemployed

Website

Broken Spoke

Founding Partner
Fixing bikes with the people that ride them

Website

Oxford Alterations

Clothing alterations, tailoring and fancy occasions specialists

Website

Solidarity Economy Association

A co-op delivering research & education for developing a just & democratic alternative to capitalism

Website

Siobhan Cooney

Local artist using resin coating to explore vibrant colour and patterns

Website

Cassandra Sabo Designs

Textile design studio handweaving interior textiles and offering weaving workshops

Website

Nor

Artist & illustrator with an open source, feminist ethic

Website

Lisa Made It

Local illustrator, designer and maker

Website

Encosianima

Hacktivist working within education, technology & multimedia

Website

Monchu

Design and creative agency with purpose

Website

Oxfordshire Recovery College

Shared learning environment for mental health and wellbeing

Website

Share Oxford, a Library of Things

A community library of useful things for borrowing and re-use.

Website

The Community Action Groups

Founding Partner
Community-led action on climate change

Website

Young Women's Music Project

Educational charity making music with women aged 14-21

Website

Sabali Pots

Community pottery studio open for members and classes

Website

EOF Hackspace

Member-run community workshop for makers and repairers

Website

New Ground Coffee

Ethical coffee roaster providing opportunities for ex-offenders

Website

In-Spire Sounds

Charity providing recording studio facilities, production, and industry advice.

Website

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