Over 140 of the UK's finest makers are based at Cockpit Arts. Find out what they create and source beautifully made craft.
Cockpit Arts is London’s leading studios for contemporary makers and an award winning social enterprise.
Cockpit and Covid-19 – please help
Your support is needed to safeguard our community of contemporary craftspeople.
One in five of our makers are on fully sponsored bursaries and all our studios are subsidised. During the current crisis all our makers are receiving significant rent relief to support their survival.
Please donate and help us to safeguard makers’ talent, skills and livelihoods.
Cockpit Arts is London’s leading studios for contemporary crafts and the UK’s only business incubator for makers and designers. We are home to over 140 independent creative businesses at our sites in Deptford and Holborn. Through public showcases and business incubation services, we provide exceptional makers and materials-based artists with the tools to succeed. Many of the artists and makers based at Cockpit are recognised internationally as leaders in their field.
Established in 1986, Cockpit is an award-winning social enterprise, recognised in 2019 on the NatWest SE100 index of top UK social enterprises and an accredited London Living Wage employer.
We offer an expert business support package and dedicated studio space to enable makers setting out on their careers, as well as those more established, to make the most of their talent. Some 20% of our studio holders are supported through Awards and Bursaries, funded by City of London Livery Companies, trusts and foundations, and individual and corporate sponsors.
Cockpit is a destination for discerning private collectors, museum curators, luxury retail buyers and craft enthusiasts. We open our doors twice a year at our famous Open Studios, where visitors can buy and commission direct from our makers. We also offer bespoke studio tours for businesses and special interest groups, schools and colleges.
We frequently provide consultancy to other studios and craft/design business incubators in the UK and internationally. We have a strong and continuing relationship with the British Council, supporting international social enterprises.
We are proud of our social, economic and cultural impact. Alongside our core offer, we provide dedicated schemes for talented creative individuals facing barriers in setting up their business – including our new Make It! scheme, building on a long-standing scheme that successfully supported 26 creatives into business in association with The Prince’s Trust.
Cockpit is committed to inclusion, diversity and equality in governance and in all our activities, recognising that diversity improves performance and fuels creativity and innovation. We have an inclusive culture where all aspects of diversity are seen as key to our success.
Finance and Fundraising
As a social enterprise, we generate over 80% of our income through earned revenue, and raise the rest from patrons, trusts, foundations, and sponsors.
Led by our Chair, Cornelius Medvei, we have a strong and committed Board of Trustees. Our ten current trustees bring experience in law, finance, banking, property, IT/tech, enterprise, design, and contemporary visual art and craft.
The main Board is supported by three committees, comprising Trustees and co-opted members: Nominations Committee, Fundraising Committee, and Audit and Risk Committee.
We have a team of 11 staff based at our Holborn and Deptford offices, including a four-strong specialist craft business incubation team, and experienced communications, fundraising and studio management specialists.
Our CEO, Annie Warburton, joined Cockpit in 2018 after five years as Creative Director at the Crafts Council. Annie began her career at the Crafts Council of Ireland and has over 25 years’ experience in the creative industries, in the private, public and social enterprise sectors. She is a respected writer and international presenter on art, craft and design.