Make It! supports young Makers based in London who are passionate about craft to build their own creative business.

Make It! offers London-based makers aged 25 or under the support and space to build their own craft-based business. The Make It! programme includes workshops in business basics, one-to-one coaching and your own studio space at Cockpit Arts.  It’s open to makers who are currently unemployed or underemployed (working in a job that doesn’t use their craft skills) and we have three places to offer this year.

A place on Make It! is worth up to £5,000 but thanks to the generous support of John Lyon’s Charity, we are able to offer it to you for free in the first year.  In the second year we ask only for a small contribution of £10 a week.

What do we mean by Craft?

‘A creative activity involving skill in making things by hand.’ On Make It! in the past we have seen everything from Printers & Embroiderers, Puppet Makers and Fine & Contemporary Jewellers to Milliners and Textiles Artists. Plus in the wider Cockpit community we also have Shoe Makers, Paper Marblers, Wood Turners, Leatherworkers, Ceramicists and many more. We have over 23 different types of craft happening within our walls.

More about Make It!

The two-year programme is designed to give you everything you need to start building your craft business. We’ve had 26 Makers successfully complete the programme since 2011 and six still have studios at Cockpit today. Find out more about them all here.

We provide:

– A studio space at Cockpit Arts
– Workshops to help you build a vision and set goals for your business, giving you the basic building blocks to get started
– One-to-one coaching and support from our in-house business team
– Access to the creative community at Cockpit Arts
– Participation in our twice-yearly Open Studios
– Access to office facilities and Wi-Fi
– All of this for free in the first year. In the second year we will ask you for a contribution of £10 a week towards your studio space and the support services we provide

To apply you need to:

– Be aged 25 or under
– Be based in London
– Have a craft skill that you’ve self-taught, learnt on the job or studied
– Have made something you’re proud of and want to sell or exhibit
– Be committed to taking part in our workshops and using the support we offer
– Be committed to developing your craft and your business

You don’t need to:

– Be an expert in anything. You just need to be ready to learn.
– Have already set up a business or registered with HMRC
– Have sold or exhibited anything that you have made

Open Days and Applications

We have tried to keep the application process simple because we understand that not everyone has the time to write paragraphs on their planned business. To help, we are opening our doors on 2 October 2019 at Holborn between 4.30pm – 6.30pm and on 30 October 2019 at Deptford between 4.30pm – 6.30pm so you can come along with your work and chat with us. Anyone who comes along will receive a free ticket to our Winter Open Studios 2019.

Applications will open in September. You will be able to apply via a simple form or submit a video application. We encourage applications from those who are underrepresented in craft including non-graduates, disabled, D/deaf and neurodiverse people, LGBTQ+ people, and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds. We also welcome applicants from a range of educational backgrounds as we do not require a minimum formal qualification for this programme.

Registration to attend events and to apply will open shortly. To sumbit your interest please email

About Cockpit Arts

Cockpit Arts is London’s leading studios for contemporary makers. An award-winning social enterprise and home to over 140 independent creative businesses. We support craft makers at the start of their careers, as well as those who are more established, to grow and build successful, thriving businesses 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.

About John Lyons Charity

John Lyon’s Charity give grants to benefit children and young people up to the age of 25 who live in nine boroughs in North and West London. Since 1991, the Charity has distributed over £100 million to a range of organisations that seek to promote the life-chances of children and young people through education.

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