We’re excited to announce that SEA have moved premises, and we’re now based at the fantastic Makespace Oxford – a project exploring innovative ways of bringing empty and underused buildings in the city back into use as affordable community working and creative spaces.
We’ve spent the summer co-creating our new office space with our fellow tenants – from scrubbing floors and repainting walls, to building desks and sourcing furniture – and, most importantly, fostering friendships with our new community. Twenty social enterprises, worker co-ops, small charities, and creative individuals are based in the building, and we’ve been excited to learn about their work and make new connections. It’s also been a great opportunity to raise awareness about the solidarity economy here in Oxford, and talk to our new neighbours about what it means to them to be part of co-creating an economy based on supporting and meeting the needs of people and the planet, above the creation of monetary wealth.
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 use as an affordable community working and making space. The first Makespace Oxford is in a North Oxford building owned by Wadham College and awaiting redevelopment. 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. It felt like an obvious place for SEA to call home.
Makespace Oxford CIC consists of Transition by Design, Aspire Oxford, Community Action Group, and Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, and it has received funding from Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s Step Change Fund, the Old Bakehouse Trust, and the Sankalpa Trust. Tenants include Transition by Design, Community Action Group, Oxfordshire Recovery College, Share Oxford (A Library of Things), Young Women’s Music Project, Sabali Pots Community Studio, and many more. Check them out here – http://makespaceoxford.org/our-story/.
Come and say hello!
Our new registered address is: Makespace Oxford, Aristotle Lane, Oxford, OX2 6TP and our new phone number is +44 (0)7983 390434.