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If you're a talented maker and looking to grow your business you have come to the right place. Apply to Cockpit Arts today.
In addition to affordable workspace we offer an array of support services to help you grow your business.
The majority of studios are shared by between two and five people, though there are some single spaces. We take time and care to find studio pairings which best meet the needs of all makers involved, with consideration given to the mix of disciplines, materials used and working environment. As your business grows and you wish to move to a bigger space, or your working methods change and you need improved facilities or a different area, our studio managers will do their utmost to facilitate this within our buildings.
When you join us, we enter into a partnership with you in a process designed to help you develop and grow your creative business. You are firmly in the driving seat and our on-site coaches are on hand to guide you through the journey. The first step is to meet your business coach, discuss your business and identify your goals and specific needs. Together we then create a personalised action plan which will be the starting point of a relationship that will be there throughout your time at Cockpit Arts. Each business takes a different journey from this point depending on their model, stage of growth and specific needs.
One of the unique services at Cockpit is the on-site, one-to-one support from our Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) qualified coaches. We take a co-active approach , working with you to develop the skills and creativity you already possess. Drawing on our industry experience, we help you to identify opportunities for change that are right for you and your business.
Each year we will complete a Partnership Review with you to reflect on your progress and review your next steps. A key objective of this review is to look at your goals, firstly looking back at the past 12 months and what has been achieved, and secondly looking forwards and setting goals for the next year. We collate and analyse the business review data (which is held in the strictest confidence) so we can evaluate and measure the impact of the support we are offering, identify future needs and research trends.
In addition to our team of in-house team experts, we refer studio holders to our network of industry associates for specialist support in areas such as accounting, intellectual property, manufacturing and branding. Associate membership is by invitation.
Creative Employment Programme
Studio holders wishing to take on their first employees can join the Creative Employment Programme, supported by Creative & Cultural Skills [Sector Skills Council]. The programme provides employers with a programme of support, which has been created in partnership with the Learning and Development Corporate Banking Division at RBS, as well as small grants to support the cost of employing an apprentice or intern for up to one year. We also provide practical support from writing job descriptions to setting up payroll systems.
Cockpit Arts & Ingenious Growth Loan Fund
Studio holders needing an injection of cash to take their business to the next level can apply for small, low interest loans through this scheme. The Cockpit Arts & Ingenious Growth Loan Fund provides intensive business planning support and on-going coaching alongside affordable finance. Studio holders are eligible to apply provided they have been here for 12 months, and can apply for loans of up to £10,000.
Jill Humphrey Springboard Prize
Studio holders can apply for this annual prize of £1,000 (plus a 2nd prize of £300) to help fund a new project or development in their businesses. It’s aimed at early stage business who have been trading for less than 3 years and makers are asked to clearly articulate the impact the prize will make to their work.
All studio holders at our incubators participate in our renowned Open Studios. These selling events take place in the summer and at Christmas and attract over 11,000 customers each year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase and sell your work, and take individual commissions.
We are regularly featured in the media and we keep the spotlight on Cockpit Arts’ talent through regular e-newsletters to 18,000+ subscribers, social networking and an online Maker Directory.
Getting a studio at Cockpit Arts is by application. Studio holders have exclusive rights to use our Makers Mark on their website. This special ‘seal’ highlights that work is of Cockpit Arts standard: Quality Craftsmanship and Design Excellence.
Tours & Selling
We regularly run events for Cockpit Arts Supporters and other VIPs and offer a bespoke tour service for trade buyers, media, collectors and craft enthusiasts.
No one said running a business would be easy especially when you are a small creative company juggling a multitude of roles. Putting systems in place and planning ahead can help you on the road to success, which is why Cockpit Arts has created the Making It Toolkit – tailored specifically for makers.
This Toolkit PDF covers four key areas – Values, Vision and Goals; Management and Operations; Sales and Marketing, and Finances in the form of interactive worksheets. Once completed, these worksheets form the basis of a business plan that you can use to help keep your business on track.
Want to know more?
You can download a PDF of the Toolkit introduction pages here for a complete list of contents.
Buy the Complete Toolkit