Cockpit Arts is an award winning social enterprise and the UK’s only craft-business incubator for designer-makers.

What we do

Cockpit Arts is an award winning social enterprise and the UK’s only craft-business incubator for designer-makers. Since we first started in 1986 we have helped thousands of talented craftspeople to grow their businesses, many of whom have gone on to achieve national and international success.

We support extraordinary craftspeople who create exquisite work

Our focus is on nurturing and supporting ‘designer-makers’ – talented people from a broad range of disciplines with a craft basis to their work. We house 170 designer-makers at our London business incubators and many more access support through our Making It programme and online resource.


We help Britain’s creative talent build thriving businesses

We are a creative business incubator, which means that as well as affordable studio space we provide an array of support services which help designer-makers to accelerate their businesses whilst growing creatively. With support from our experienced on-site team, studio-holder profits at Cockpit have increased year-on-year at an average of 28% (above the rate of inflation) since we started measuring in 2005.

Our Social Mission

Our mission at Cockpit Arts is to support and promote talented designer-makers from all backgrounds through all stages of their career. We strive to raise standards in the contemporary craft and design sectors, making an important contribution to the UK cultural landscape and economy.

We bring the work of craft-makers to the centre stage

Having a studio at Cockpit Arts is a recognised benchmark of excellence in craftsmanship and we are a renowned ‘hotbed’ of creative talent. We were one of the first organisations to initiate Open Studios events. Today over 11,000 visitors come to see behind the scenes and buy direct from designer-makers and over 14,000 people subscribe to our e-newsletters.

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We are actively involved in researching impact

Our team works with leading economists and institutions to research the development of businesses at our incubators and explore the impact of our support. We also offer a UK & International consultancy service.

We trade for social purposes and reinvest in the community

As a Social Enterprise our services are offered to our beneficiary designer-makers at below commercial rates. Any profit we make is ploughed back to support the beneficiaries most in need or disadvantaged. To increase access to our services we offer special Awards and Bursaries for early stage craft businesses and the Creative Careers Programme for previously unemployed young people. In addition our Creative Employment Programme aims to widen craft employment opportunities through apprenticeships and paid internships.


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