Britain’s biggest open-access factory

13 February 2022

Enabling new businesses

The Guardian has an interesting article on the conversion of a derelict north London (Enfield) warehouse, which was destined to be redeveloped into flats, which has been transformed into a cutting-edge ‘makerspace’.

Enfield has a history of invention and manufacture including  Rifles, radios, motorbikes and dishwashers were all made in the area.  The development of the world’s first cash machine, is celebrated by a golden ATM on the high street.

This productive environment has declined with many manufacturing sites being replaced by big box stores, together with stable careers.

In an attempt to provide manufacturing capabilities,  Bloqs, a new £4m facility has been set up.  The converted warehouse (Design by 5th Studio) is billed as the as the UK’s first “open-access factory”, complete with £1.3m worth of equipment – including saws, lathes, sanders and sewing machines – along with laser cutters, 3D-printers and a large five-axis milling machine.

Space and access to equipment is rented on short and long term lets. The plan is to enable the growth of high quality businesses which will go on to occupy the planned workspace units.

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