What is Makespace?

Makespace is a shared workshop in Cambridge, UK – ‘the community’s inventing shed’. We are a membership organisation, and members have 24/7 access to the space.

How do I join?

See our Membership page for details of joining Makespace. Membership costs £40 a month, for 24-hour access to the space.

Can I use Makespace if I’m not a member? Can I Pay-As-I-Go?

No, we’re afraid not. The membership model is a really important part of making Makespace sustainable in the long-run – you’re not just paying to use Makespace, you’re paying to make sure it continues to exist and has a vibrant, creative community supported by good kit.

If you know a Makespace member, you can visit Makespace as their Guest (they will need to be there to let you in, show you around, and stick around whilst you are in Makespace). Please note that frequent Guests will need to become members.

If you have a project you want to work on, or want help with, but would rather not become a member, we suggest you post on our Google Group mailing list and ask for help. A member may be willing to assist you in your project and use the equipment for you, either for free or potentially as a paid project. There’s no ‘drop in’, ‘pay as you go’, ‘off peak’, or other membership types.

Can members really have 24/7 access?

Yes – members get an RFID token which gives them access whenever they want. However note that some pieces of equipment aren’t appropriate for lone working, so if you are in the space by yourself at 3am there will be some limits on what you can do. Also, Makespace reserves the right to limit access to some or all of the space if needed for maintenance, or if events are being held, but we’ll always try to give advance warning of this.

Can I have a discount on membership?

We’re afraid not. Makespace membership is great value and to keep it the same for everyone, we have a flat rate. As a member you get access to a lovely space in Cambridge, a wonderful lively community of makers and more, and you can use all the kit without additional charge (except for materials in some cases). For people in financial hardship (e.g. in receipt of income support), a reduced rate may be available for a period, at the discretion of the directors.

Can my company buy several memberships and share them? Or can I share a membership with a friend?

No – membership is for named individuals only. Each member needs to be inducted and trained, and so memberships are not transferable. Your company can of course pay for membership for one or more specific members of staff.

Are there any other charges?

Once you have paid your membership, use of equipment and any necessary inductions are free (thanks to our volunteers who give their time to help others). However you may need to pay for materials in some cases, or bring your own appropriate materials. We encourage everyone to give back to the Makespace community by helping clean, maintain and run the space and kit, and supporting others.

Can I bring children in to Makespace?

Yes – as a member you are permitted to bring guests into Makespace, and this includes children. Guests (of any age!) are entirely your responsibility when in Makespace and may not be in the space alone. Please note you can only escort two children per Member.

You should also look for ‘Family makers’ events on our calendar – these are free events open to members and non-members with children.

Can I work in Makespace every day?

Yes, if you’re a member you can use Makespace whenever you want, as you’ll have 24/7 access (as long as you don’t sleep here!).

Can I have a desk in Makespace?

No – Makespace is a shared space, so whenever you leave, you need to clear the space you were working in so others can use it. You cannot reserve a space or desk: it’s first come first served all the time.

Can I use Makespace facilities for my business?

Yes – both commercial and hobby projects are welcome at Makespace, as well as projects that might become commercial later on. You are also welcome to use it to meet colleagues or clients and to receive deliveries; however you should ensure there is someone present to receive your delivery, or there is a risk no-one is in the space when it arrives. Please do not use Makespace as the official address of your business.

What about Intellectual Property?

You are entirely responsible for managing all aspects of intellectual property yourself. You may protect or openly release any IP you generate in Makespace in any way you wish. However, if you are worried about protecting IP, note that Makespace is a shared space and you do not have exclusive use of it; there are likely to be others around in the space, so if you are talking about your invention, you might want to be as cautious as you would be in a cafe or pub.


How can I help spread the word about Makespace?

You can download and print out our poster and stick it up where your friends, colleagues and others may see it. It’s also very helpful to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Is there any parking at Makespace?

Makespace members may use the car park at the back of 16 Mill Lane *only* for occasional loading and unloading, and then only during working hours when we can get someone to let the barrier down. Members tend to park either:
– Along the backs
– At the Grand Arcade
– In/around Newnham
– Park Street car park

There is lots of bike parking at Makespace and we’re near the bus station in the city centre too.

Can I come and look around?

We hold regular events that are open to the general public, including weekly ‘See the space’ events. Alternatively if you know a member, they can show you around as their guest at any time. If for some reason you cannot make any of our regular tours and would like to look round another time, please get in touch.

Can I hold an event in Makespace?

Yes! (If you are a member – or can find a member who is prepared to host the event.) That’s one of the reasons we exist. Many events are run by Makespace Members, and must follow our Events Policy. We encourage events that focus on doing/making/problem solving over events that are entirely about talking, as there are other spaces that serve those purposes.

If you really want to run an exciting event in Makespace and you can’t find some Members to host it – and don’t want to join – post on our Google Group or email management <at> makespace.org. Please give plenty of notice, and bear in mind that you may not find anyone who wants to host the event.

Can I bring my friend?

Yes! members can bring guests, but guests may not use any equipment that requires an induction (the ‘red-labelled’ equipment). If your friend ends up being at Makespace all the time that you are, or  is generally using it a lot, they will need to become a member.

Who are you?

Makespace is run entirely by its community, who are all volunteers. There is also a part-time paid administrator.

The non-profit company which operates Makespace is Makespace Cambridge Limited, and the current directors are Jonathan Austin, Simon Ford, Adrian van den Heever and Ward Hills – all of whom are unpaid volunteers.


How can my company/organisation/group/network get involved?

Get your people to become members! If you are looking for other forms of engagement please email management (at) makespace.org.

Do you have an XYZ?

There are details of our equipment on our wiki.

Are you insured?

Yes, Makespace has full public liability insurance. We have a health and safety policy; fire and first aid policies; risk assessments and processes for induction and training and how we work in general to ensure that it’s a safe place to work.


How are you funded?

We received seed funding from Ideaspace as part of the Enterprise Accelerator Programme and Founder Sponsorship from a number of companies, who helped with significant capital donations to enable us to fit out Makespace with interesting equipment.

Day to day costs (including some new equipment purchases) are covered entirely by membership fees.

In the future we may use other funding routes such as crowd-funding to raise funds for new equipment, as well as continuing to work with sponsors and donors of all kinds.

You can donate to Makespace here. If you represent a company or organisation that would like to sponsor or donate money or kit to Makespace, contact management (at) makespace.org.


Can I invest in Makespace?

No. Makespace is run by a company limited by guarantee – a non-profit. We have no way to take on investment or disburse profits to share holders. We believe that this is the best way for this sort of organisation to operate so the community feels strong ownership of the space, activities, and organisation.

How do you handle Health and Safety?

We follow UK business requirements for health and safety and have policies in place which are signed by the Directors of Makespace Cambridge Limited. We carry out risk assessments of new equipment and activities, ensure our members understand the risks, and provide appropriate safety equipment, signage, and training.

Can you help me set up a hackspace or makerspace in my city?

We are always happy to hear from others who are setting up similar spaces elsewhere. You are welcome to get in touch and we can sometimes provide tips in email or arrange a call to answer questions, but remember we’re volunteers and so can’t always help, particularly at short notice. You’re also welcome to post on our community list to get input from members.

Can you set up a makerspace in my city?

Makespace is based in Cambridge and hopes to bring together a community from across the Cambridge region and further afield. We have no aspirations to set up Makespaces in other places and we aren’t a franchise model, so we won’t be setting up Makespaces elsewhere.

If you are really keen on the idea, why not set one up yourself?