The Community Works
Makespace is bringing back to life a building in central Oxford, which has been vacant for four years, and creating a new community hub and social business centre.
We’re incredibly excited to announce that Makespace Oxford is opening a new building! We are currently in the process of transforming 20/21 Park End Street, previously a Chinese restaurant with a frontage on Frideswide Square, into ‘The Community Works’.
The building, owned by Nuffield College, has been made available to us for a period of 3 years on a peppercorn rent until December 2022. It will open in September as ‘The Community Works’, a mix of work space for social enterprises and meeting space for community groups.
The first studio spaces will be available to rent from September 2020 after the building has undergone a major refurbishment by Aristotle Lane residents and local architects Transition by Design, who are also a founding partner of Makespace Oxford CIC.
Andy Edwards, one of our directors and co-founders and a member of Transition by Design Cooperative CIC said;
“We are seeing the need for workspace and communities changing rapidly due to COVID-19, and Makespace is looking for the best way to respond to that need. Many local organisations are downsizing and are looking for flexible, affordable space, connected to a community of support, which The Community Works will provide.”
The opening in September is the first step towards the bigger project to bring the whole building online. We have already raised £65,000 in grants and plan to raise another £60,000 over the next 6 monthsto open up additional spaces in The Community Works in order to support BAME-led organisations and communities impacted by COVID-19 with subsidised work, meeting, and organising space.
The project has already received support from local councillors. Richard Howlett, Carfax Councillor and Co-operatives Champion says;
It is fantastic news that Makespace Oxford are bringing this empty building in our city centre back to life. Using vacant properties for socially beneficial purposes is an important part of how we can ‘build back better’ locally. The organisation have done a brilliant job providing space for co-operatives, charities and social enterprises in their current building in North Oxford. I look forward to supporting them as they plan how best to use this building on Park End Street.
The Community Works main building will be open to everyone and members of the public are encouraged to drop in and have a cup of tea and a chat to see what it’s all about. Usha Kar, one of our building coordinators from Makespace is eager for the building to be a space for everyone in the community.
“We want to hear from purpose-driven businesses who need a creative and collaborative space to work, from community groups who need space to meet, create and organise and from individuals who want to meet others and get involved in community projects.”
We are currently looking for individuals and organisations who would like to be a part of The Community Works. If you are interested in joining us or learning more about this exciting next step please fill out an application https://forms.gle/HrcP7or8mvaPABAJ9 or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.