A community project in Norfolk has launched a crowd-funding appeal as it looks to open a new creative space in a seaside town.
The Sheringham Makers Yard project has been set up with the aim of providing the local and wider community with a place for making, creating and collaborating.
Similar places, normally called ‘Maker Spaces’ are becoming more and more popular across the world.
The facility in Sheringham would give those attending access to other like-minded thinkers and creators, as well as the tools, equipment, materials and tuition needed to help them gain skills for hobbies or future employment.
The idea is the brainchild of Sheringham man Jamie Crisp, who said: “I have been looking for an opportunity like this for a while. I think it’s really important that people have access to all types of education, but for me, it’s the practical types of education.
“I want to create a space where by people can meet, collaborate, design and build all types of ideas and projects. I believe there are a great number of people who have a huge interest in working with their hands and unleashing their creative minds, but simply do not have access to the facilities or tuition to make it happen.
“With The Sheringham Makers Yard, you’ll be able learn different skills or even share your knowledge with others, that’s the real beauty of creating a ‘Maker Space’, you can walk into many spaces like this around the world and you’ll be speaking the same language on a creative level. That’s what really inspired me, the thought of bringing our community together, a social hub for creativity, learning, sharing and teaching.”
The venue would include areas for basic hand tool skills like wood work and metal work, access to art materials and tuition as well as space for creative thinking.
Mr Crisp, who owns and runs Sheringham Flooring, said: “We’ll also have areas specifically for CNC machines and 3D printers, multimedia creation, stop motion animation and an area for presenting or teaching.
“By providing the local and wider community with these incredible assets, The Sheringham Makers Yard will also be able to act as a bridge to assist those looking to move into any of the areas mentioned in the STEAM acronym (science, technology, engineering, art, maths).
“By giving students access, they’ll be able to greatly familiarise themselves the some of the basic skills required within these industries.”
It is also hoped the venue will become a social space for the wider community within the town.
The 36-year-old, who is a volunteer boat crew member at Sheringham RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: “Interaction with like-minded people – people who love to share, help and assist – is such an important part of our modern lives, working as teams to achieve an end goal and having perhaps worked together on a project from design to working completion is both rewarding and knowledge expanding.”
The Sheringham Makers Yard will also be available to hire for schools, groups and employers. It could be used as a teaching facility, a team building day or even just a place to relax and create.
Mr Crisp, who is volunteering his time for the project, said: “We really do have some great ideas ready to unleash once we’re set up.”
He is working with volunteers Kate Munro who will help connect the local art community to the project, Gareth Gabriel who is doing the website and media content and Rob Sayles who is looking after social media and online marketing.
The team have found the ideal venue to house the project in Sheringham – a short walk from the railway and bus station, nestled behind the main high street.
To secure the venue and ensure the space comes to the town the team have launched a crowd-funding appeal to raise the funds needed to realise the project.
Mr Crisp said: “The property is to be sold at auction, so, whilst we are creating great momentum in raising awareness, what we need to be doing is raising funds.
“We’re looking to raise £150,000 in approximately 40 days. It may seem like a tall order, but we really do think the local and wider community will see the potential and help us get this project off the ground.”
To donate visit the Crowd Funder website here www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-community-maker-space
You can also spread the word about the project by visiting the Facebook page where the team will keep you up-to-date about the project’s progress www.facebook.com/themakersyardsheringham