National Festival of Making
Working in collaboration with Hemingway Design and Deco Publique, Placeshakers is playing a leading role in the National Festival of Making, taking place in Blackburn town centre in May 2017. The first festival of its kind in the UK, there will be a wide range making experiences for audiences to learn, be inspired by and enjoy. Founded by Placeshakers Director, Claire Tymon, Placeshakers are leading on strategic development and fundraising for the Festival as well as curating the Making Place and Making Digital strands.

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Placeshakers Director Matthew Pilling is curating an exhibition specifically for the National Festival of Making that will showcase and explore 3D Printing and the current research being carried out in this field. There will be printing demonstrations and the opportunity to discover how you can design and build your own machines, and what new materials are being explored.

MakerSheds is an architectural student competition aimed to create spaces for emerging makers to host exhibitions, workshops and activities inside. Taking the concept of a shed to a completely new level, these design-led, architecturally fascinating additions to town centres, neighbourhoods and derelict spaces will offer new places to meet and make. The MakerShed project will be piloted at the National Festival of Making in May 2017. The project has been generously supported by James Latham Timber Merchants.

Live Works
Working with Sheffield University’s Live Works team, Placeshakers is collaborating on a range of creative place-making projects with communities across Yorkshire. Live Works engages local people in debate about the past, present and future of the city, and supports community-led regeneration of the city’s buildings, streets and neighbourhoods. We are working with Live Works to support their deliverability with public events and exhibitions, and collaborating with local partners on socially-engaged projects.

Blackburn is Open
In November 2013, working on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen BC, Placeshakers Director Claire Tymon initiated a new creative-led regeneration project, Blackburn is Open. Supported by Wayne Hemingway MBE, Claire delivered the Arte et Labore manifesto, encouraging the local creative community to develop ideas to improve the town centre’s creative offer and facilitate these ideas to be tested. During the 3-year programme, Claire created a number of sustainable programmes of work which continue to have a positive impact on Blackburn town centre, its empty buildings and its night time economy.

Urban Room Blackburn
Placeshakers curated a series of Urban Rooms of creative activity, celebrating and critiquing Blackburn’s built environment. Urban Room is a celebration of art, architecture and public space with a focus on urban culture, experimentation and innovative practices to inspire new ways of thinking about the town centre. Blackburn town centre is a place undergoing lots of exciting changes to buildings, spaces and visions for the future. Urban Room is an opportunity to creatively engage with the place, both its history and future.

The Making Rooms
Placeshakers collaborated with Re-Form Architects to develop the vision, business plan and successful fundraising for Blackburn’s new makerspace, The Making Rooms, on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen Council. Promoted as Lancashire’s first Fab Lab, the £1M development has transformed an old redundant bank into a creative digital fabrication centre with workspaces, studios and a cafe.

Hope Works Makerspace
In January 2015, Placeshakers developed a full feasibility for a new makerspace at Hope Mill in Ancoats. We surveyed the 90 creative businesses who work in the Mill, identifying a vision which would attract a commercial income as well as funding from trusts and foundations for wider community engagement activity. This concept is still at feasibility stage.