Ipswich Makerspace 2017 Fund Raising

For several weeks we have been in negotiation with the owner of 11 Dove Street to acquire the lease and finally have a place to call home. Barring accidents we will be signing the lease this week.

What does this mean for the Makerspace?

Having our own space gives us the chance to develop the Makerspace in ways we’ve not been able to before. We can look at getting more tools and equipment, offer more activities and reach out to more makers. And of course we want to make all that equipment accessible and convenient so you don’t waste half the session getting set-up.

To make Dove Street the exciting and above all useful space we all want is going to take money. There’s the up front cost to acquire the lease, some for things like insurance and security, practical items such as tables and chairs and then for the additional tools and equipment.

A new membership package

We’ll be rolling out a new membership package over the next few weeks, but to give you a flavour of what’s coming:

  • You will be able to book time on the 3D printers and other machinery
  • Borrow the 3D printers to work on at home
  • Book bench space by the meeting or the month
  • Pay for meetings by standing order at a reduced rate
  • Have your own storage crate to leave your gear at the space

Fundraising

We have decided to offer everyone a chance to fund the Makerspace by purchasing “Founder’s Bonds”. We have such confidence and enthusiasm for this venture that the committee members have already pledged £6000 with a further £2000 under discussion. Each bond costs £100 and the funds will be placed in a special account and allocated to projects by the Makerspace Committee. We want people to look on the Makerspace as a long term venture and so the minimum term of the bonds will be three years. After that time bond holders will be able to apply to have their bond repaid and the Makerspace will make reasonable endeavours to do so subject to common sense and the availability of funds. As a benefit, bond holders will be entitled to a 3% discount off their annual membership fee for every £100 bond they hold for as long as they hold it.

The lease deposit, legal fees and fixtures and fittings will cost us up to £4900. We will also need some working capital to cover any shortfall in the running costs until the we can expand our membership.

What is to become of the rest of the funds?

Firstly, we want to secure the building, particularly the front door which is currently the weakest spot. In the long term we also want to install an entry system to allow members to come and go 24/7. We will need to replace the furniture as it belongs to the current lease holder, but we will be keeping the kitchen. The next step is where it gets exciting. As many of you know I’m very keen to get a laser cutter and, funds allowing, I will push to get one as soon as is practical. Jon Leach has offered to lend us his CNC machine, Dan Sloane has lent us his Rigol scope, add that to our 3 x 3D printers and you have a fantastic resource for makers. The space could also benefit from a wide range of smaller tools such as crimping tools, assorted screwdrivers, power supplies and many more. We already have a stock of resistors and capacitors, JST sockets, assorted wire etc. but it would be very useful to also stock things like nuts, bolts, screws and washers, stand-offs. There’s truly nothing worse than making good progress on a project only to have to stop because you’re missing some tiny piece of hardware.

The regular Thursday evening makerspace meetings will continue as usual and we will also try out a range of alternative events to see what works best. If you have an idea you’d like to help get off the ground or a project you’d like to see happen then please talk to a member of the committee.

We want to get our funding in place as quickly as possible to be able move forward and so we need all applications for Founder’s Bonds to be received by midnight on Friday 17th February. Always remember that this is your makerspace and your help can make it really fly.

If you’d like to contribute by purchasing Founder’s Bonds then please contact me Steve Chalkley via Facebook, or at info@ipswichmakerspace.com

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