Here at BuildBrighton we’ve been looking, for the last 8 months, for a suitable, affordable space for the group to move to. It has become clear to us that our current arrangement with The Skiff, although fantastic, is not enough to attract new members. Most potential new members do not see the benefit in paying a subscription for a meeting only one night a week, and are sometimes put off by the officey nature of the space and the lack of any decent machinery of equipment. It is a catch 22 situation, however, as without subscribers we cannot afford to make commitments to long term outgoings as our earnings are sporadic, making some money here and there through workshops and council grants etc.
We have long wanted to turn BuildBrighton into Briton’s answer to Noisebridge or NYC Resistor. We have found two fantastic spaces that are beyond our current monthly earnings by different degrees. We also have 100 non-members on the hackspace mailing list and 250 non members following the BuildBrighton twitter account. How many of these potential members would convert into actual members if we had the right space? What is it that BuildBrighton would have to provide for them to make that conversion, and how much would they be willing to pay in order to get that? We have no desire to out price ourselves, and yet we need to charge an amount that can sustain the group financially.
In an attempt to find these things out, we have created a questionnaire and are asking people to fill it in to provide the answers that we need. If we have a good idea of how quickly and to what extent the group can grow, we can make decisions about how much risk we can take on with a new place. You can fill the questionnaire in here.
The two spaces that we are looking at are The Metalworks, approx 1000 sq ft in Central Brighton, next door to the new space that The Skiff are moving to shortly, allowing us to maintain our ties with those who supported us in our early days. The other is a 4000 sq ft workshop space at New England House, which is not only enormous, but filled with already created smaller spaces that could be converted into useful areas like dark rooms or craft rooms, or rented out to artists or commercial creative enterprises as studios or work spaces. Both spaces have enormous potential and we can see the group flourishing in such environments.
Please do fill in the questionnaire, comment or contact me if you wish to be involved in BuildBrighton, want to find out more about us or just want to offer us your support. Knowing that we are needed is a big reason why we do this.