The Making Rooms to receive £41,512 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

The Making Rooms to receive £41,512 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

  • The Making Rooms is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will help us to transition back to financial sustainability and further develop our capabilities and  impact on the community

The Making Rooms in Blackburn has received a grant of £41,512 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen. 

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including The Making Rooms, in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The Making Rooms is a place where creativity, technology and advanced manufacturing come together in a community facility for use by artists, inventors, students, children and just about everyone else to design and make anything from high-tech products and gadgets to toys, artworks, home decorations and accessibility devices.

We have a wide range of machines and teach a variety of skills from 3D printing and laser cutting to electronics development and pottery. As well as offering commercial prototyping, we run a number of creative and technology accelerator programmes to encourage local entrepreneurship and we are proud to offer a weekly free of charge Open Access Community Fab Lab programme which allows locals of any age and background to access and benefit from our workshop, support and teaching. Once people have started their creative careers through our programmes, we welcome them to join our studio community and to continue to grow with us.

This funding will allow us to transition back to financial sustainability, whilst also supporting us to deliver our various programmes; perform much needed maintenance on our machines; and make improvements to our lab and develop its capabilities.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead. 

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

 Director of The Making Rooms, Thomas Macpherson-Pope, said:

“This support is crucial for us to recover from lockdown and build resiliency into our organisation. With this funding we will be able to plan for the future and develop our community offerings further.

Over the course of the pandemic we have continued to serve our community where possible, however we have not been able to open our free public access Fab Lab Blackburn programme. This funding will help us restart the programme for our volunteers, focusing on training and lab improvement projects so we will be in a better position to serve our community when we fully open.”

We asked our community members what The Making Rooms means to them. Uzair Patel, a Making Rooms volunteer, said:

“The Making Rooms is a place where amazing, like-minded individuals come to help make the community a better place. It provides help in terms of machinery to produce projects, help with people who can share their knowledge and just an all round warm inviting place to hang out.”

Julia Jacob, a former member of staff, added:

“The Making Rooms means freedom to make things with industry grade technology, regardless of class or funds.”

Sajid Mohammed, a recent graduate of The Making Rooms’ Tech Blackburn accelerator programme spoke about his experiences with The Making Rooms “providing a dedicated service to all inventors in helping to design, develop, implement and market their inventions, working together to build better products”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. 

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.