1. Who can have a studio at Cockpit Arts?
We support craft practitioners at the start of their careers, as well as those who are more established, to grow and build successful and thriving businesses both in the UK and internationally. We work with a wide range of talented individuals, including master craftspeople, artist-makers, batch producers and more scalable businesses. All have a commitment to business growth, creative development and also demonstrate excellence in craft skill and imagination.
2. Do I have to make all of my work?
There must be a craft basis to the work you are designing and producing.
3. What does Cockpit Arts mean by artist-maker?
An artist-maker’s practice is based in craft and explores ideas and concepts. The artist may, at the same time, design and produce a range of functional products.
4. I’m a fine artist/sculptor/photographer/product designer/illustrator. Can I get a studio?
There must be a craft basis to the work. Sometimes it is down to the individual as to how they define their practice. We are interested in makers with a more conceptual practice, however a craft element is an essential requirement.
If you are in any doubt as to your eligibility, please contact one of the studio managers to discuss your practice.
Adrian Lee, Studio Manager Holborn
T 020 7419 1959
Beckie Kingman, Studio Manager Deptford
T 020 8692 4463
5. I’m a fashion designer. Can I apply for a place?
One of the main criteria for selection is that the fashion must have a craft basis, and therefore we have a leaning towards fashion designers whose work is bespoke or produced in small batches, rather than mass manufactured. Fashion designers who are aiming to have their work produced in large quantities often require specialist business support as well as financial investment.
6. How does Cockpit Arts select makers?
There is a two-stage application process. At stage one the selection committee appraises every application that we receive against our selection criteria. To be considered eligible, you have to be a maker with a craft basis to the work you are designing and producing. We also look for evidence of craft skill and imagination; commitment to business growth and creative development; financial security; environmental considerations and what difference being at Cockpit will make to your practice/business and creative development.
If you make it through to stage two, we will invite you to an interview to meet our selection panel, show your work and talk about your vision for the future.
1. How can I get an application pack?
You can download an application pack here >
2. How long does the application process take?
The application deadlines, interview dates and start dates can be found on the website. The process from application deadline to moving into a studio takes about two months.
3. Is there a waiting list?
No, once you have been accepted, if we can fulfil your studio requirements we can usually accommodate you immediately.
4. What information do I need to provide in the application form?
The information you provide should be appropriate to evidence the five criteria set out in the application guidelines. There is a 250 word limit on each answer; you should use your own judgment and ensure that you have provided enough evidence to allow us to make the best decision. We do not require a detailed business plan, but do submit a copy if you have one, along with a CV containing relevant information.
5. What if my application is rejected ?
Applications are assessed on a number of criteria including the craft skill involved in your work, your plans for your creative and business development, and why you are applying to Cockpit Arts at this time.
If your application is rejected, you may need to develop in one of these areas, or, you may need to explain more clearly on your application. You can apply again when another selection round opens.
Business Incubation and Support
1. What is a craft business incubator?
Business incubators are programmes designed to accelerate the successful development of businesses through an array of support resources and services. At Cockpit Arts our Incubator Package is specifically for makers who want to grow and become more successful and at the same time develop creatively.
2. How do you know that incubators work?
The incubator model has been tried and tested. According to research by UKBI, on average, 98.7% of businesses working with an incubator succeed, with 87% still operating after five years. In contrast, less than half of all businesses nationally will achieve long-term success. At Cockpit Arts we carefully monitor and evaluate the impact of our services to ensure that they provide good results. Read the case studies
to find out how we have helped makers to succeed.
3. What support resources and services do you give at Cockpit Arts?
At Cockpit Arts our incubator package includes the following services:
Affordable creative studio space
Managed studio within a creative environment
Office facilities and resource library
A team of on-site coaches
One-to-one business support
Peer-to-peer action learning
Ingenious Growth Loan Fund
Cockpit Associates (referral to specialist advisers)
Workshops and seminars
One to ones with industry experts
PR & Sales
Open Studios public selling events
Profile raising events and campaigns
Exclusive studio tours with selling opportunities
Online maker directory and e-marketing
Brand association and use of the Markers Mark
As Cockpit Arts is a social enterprise, all of this is provided as a comprehensive package lower than commercial rates.
4. I am a start-up. How can an Incubator help me?
Every maker who joins Cockpit receives an initial diagnostic to identify their business and personal development needs. We then help you create a development plan and provide you with a Toolkit to guide you through the early stages of setting up your business. You have access to workshops and seminars and one-to-one coaching, as well as selling and promotional opportunities, including our twice yearly Open Studios. This is all in addition to being based within a managed studio environment with access to office facilities, PCs and wireless broadband.
5. I am an established maker. How can an Incubator help me?
We take a person-centred approach, which means you will receive a bespoke package of support whatever stage of career you are at. In addition to receiving a Toolkit and support in creating your development plan, established businesses will typically tap into access to Specialist Advisors, advice about being an employer and access to finance. You will benefit from being part of a dynamic and creative community with all the benefits of a managed studio environment, including office facilities, PCs and wireless broadband.
6. Can I attend workshops or seminar if I don’t have a studio at Cockpit Arts?
Cockpit Arts occasionally organises seminars that are open to non-studio holders and these are advertised in our e-newsletters (which you can subscribe to here
). Cockpit Arts offers workshops to makers based outside of our incubators through specific programmes and by application only. Our current programme is London Creative Network, delivered in partnership with Space Studios. For further information, please contact Imogen Lawry at email@example.com
7. Can I have one-to-one business coaching if I don’t have a studio at Cockpit Arts?
Cockpit Arts provides coaching to makers based outside of our incubators by application to specific programmes, currently the London Creative Network, delivered in partnership with Space Studios. For further information contact Imogen Lawry at firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Can I show at Open Studios if I don’t have a studio at Cockpit Arts?
Only makers based at our studios and Cockpit Arts Alumni exhibit at our Open Studios events.
Studios, Premises and Equipment
1. What are the studios like at Cockpit Arts?
Our Incubator buildings are light and airy, and full of character and creative buzz. The studios have 24/7 access, 365 days a year. All have natural light, electricity and WIFI access. The majority are shared by between two and five people, though there are some single studios. We take time and care to find the best possible studio pairings, which best meet the needs of all makers involved. This creates a stimulating space with opportunities for sharing ideas, networking and collaboration.
2. Where are you based?
Our incubators are based in Holborn, WC1, close to the Hatton Garden jewellery quarter; and in Deptford SE8, at the centre of an exciting community of artists and craftspeople.
Cockpit Arts Holborn and Head Office
London WC1N 2NP
T 020 7419 1959
Cockpit Arts Deptford
London SE8 3DZ
T 020 8692 4463
3. What office facilities and resources do you provide?
Access to our serviced office is available from Monday-Friday. This provides you with facilities that include: photocopier; meeting room and a large education space that you can hire. There is also a resource room with computers and a reference library that carries style and trade magazines as well as useful information about starting and running a business. We have an exclusive ‘Google group’ which serves as an intranet for makers based at our incubators to exchange opportunities, news, share experiences, skills and advice.
4. Do you provide equipment for making?
No, we do not provide equipment, other than that provided to Awardees as part of a sponsorship arrangement (currently providing shared access to looms and leatherworking equipment), and you are expected to equip your own studio as you wish and require.
5. Can I have a studio without other Incubation benefits?
No, we offer a package only.
6. Can I get a single studio?
Single studios are very much in demand by existing studio-holders wishing to move. Preference will only be given to new joiners under special circumstances, e.g. for processes that are not suitable for a shared space.
7. How long can I have a studio for? Is there an exit policy?
At present Cockpit Arts does not have a formal exit policy; however our incubator processes are designed to enable makers to expand outside Cockpit Arts in due course. After five years the licence fees increase each year for a further five years.
8. What are the studio terms, i.e. notice to leave?
It is a licence agreement rather than a tenancy. The Licence may be terminated by party, giving at least one, full, calendar month’s notice in writing to the other party to terminate the Licence on the last day of the month.
9. What is the difference between the incubators in Deptford and Holborn?
The incubator process is exactly the same. The two sites differ in architecture and layout only.
1. How much does a studio at Cockpit Arts cost?
The Licence fee is comprised of the Incubator package fee and the core education and training services fee.
The Licence fee is charged by the square foot so you pay for the amount of space you need, although there is a minimum. This fee varies according to location, either £23.50 (plus VAT) or £28.35 (including VAT) per square foot per annum.
The core education and training services fee also varies according to location, either £19.00 (plus VAT) or £23.50 (VAT exempt) per month (to September 2016). Here is an example of what you might expect to pay in total, per month for a place at Cockpit Arts in:
Based on a 100ft² studio:
100 x £29.20 = £2,920 / 12 months = £243.33 per month
Add £23.50 core services fee
Total = £266.83 per month (VAT exempt)
Based on a 100ft² studio:
100 x £24.20 = £2,420 / 12 months = £201.67 plus VAT per month
Add £19.58 core services fee (plus VAT)
Total = £221.25 plus VAT per month
2. Do the studio rates ever increase?
Yes. In October each year the studio rates do increase slightly in line with the rate of inflation. This inflation based increase applies to all studio holders.
In addition, once you have been at Cockpit Arts for over 5 years, an incremental increase is applied to your licence fee each year. Due to the business development support you will have received in that time, your business should have grown to be able to accommodate an increased licence charge.
3. What other charges are there?
Each studio has an electricity meter and the studio-holders in it split the cost of the electricity between them. Kilns and other high-use tools or equipment are metered separately. There is a charge for the photocopying you do. There is also a nominal charge for a communal music licence and rubbish removal for the Open Studios twice a year.
4. Are studios at Cockpit Arts less expensive than other studios?
Cockpit Arts is a social enterprise, which means we plough our profits back into the services we provide. Therefore our fees are lower than commercial rates making the incubator package affordable.
5. Can I have a subsidised studio?
All our studios and the support services are subsidised by Cockpit Arts. From time to time we are able to offer sponsored Awards to applicants who are in greatest need of financial support, in addition to other Awards focusing on specific crafts or type of business. Check the website regularly for updates.