Saw this yesterday, this very fine article about how the UK should stop doing what it has always done and do something to help launch ‘spaces across the country. Which I agree with.
In fact, it doesn’t even need to get as expensive or complex as what is described, we just need some way to avoid the paperwork and liabilities (you need one or you get the other) & some cheap space to make things happen.
Birmingham hackspace has a funding gap. We want a laser cutter, because that is the single device that attracts the most people, & would allow us to be self sustaining, but currently paying the rent is using all the money that should be building it and other cool stuff. Once we reach the breakeven point, things should work well, and since none of us directors are crying out for their investment loans back, all will be good.
Currently though, the shortfall is enough that we are considering using the one year break clause in our lease. Which is a shame, as we have spent at least a few thousand getting the current space nice.
What we need is a few dozen more members, & a bit more hardware. We don’t need a high pressure injection moulding machine.
What we would have liked to be is a Limited Liability Partnership, but a non-profit isn’t allowed that choice. We would have liked to be a charity, but helping, for a tiny monthly fee, anyone who wants a workspace, does not fit the Charity Commission guidance. Even if it were free it still wouldn’t. But if we offered a space for table football, it would have been fine!
What we would like is refunded and reduced rates. We actually got that, after some messing and forms, though no refund so far for the first years over payment.
What we would like is some sensible way to get insured, one which covers us for welding and other things that we would like to be able to do. Most hack- and makerspaces just skip that, but we would like to be covered.
So yes please to the amazing stuff, but even just a little less stuff to get in the way would be a big help!