The original FIELD cohort have been at their new premises – LeftField – for just over a year now, and have settled in very nicely. We paid them a visit just before Christmas 2018 and took a few photos – it all looks very busy! The businesses are all growing and expanding, and all are clearly very happy to be working together in a fantastic coworking community. Great to see these start-ups and entrepreneurs doing so well, and enjoying their work so much. Onwards and upwards!
While FIELD alumni MakerClub go from strength to strength, working with young people across the UK, one of their core team – Declan Cassidy – has taken the plunge and started a brand new enterprise! It’s a community company called PlayingField, which aims to inspire a new, diverse generation into the videogames industry through game jams, workshops and events:
“Children who take part in PlayingField represent some of the least likely to work in the mainstream games industry. We hope that by showing young people how a game is made, they can better visualise themselves in one of the huge variety of industry roles.”
PlayingField are hosting a breakfast workshop event at Wired Sussex this Friday morning (9.30-11.30am 30th November), inviting games industry people to ask: How do we support the next generation of talent into the games industry? More details on Eventbrite here, and you can follow PlayingField on Twitter for further events and info.
Update from FIELD alumni The Intrepid Camera Co:
The Intrepid Enlarger Kickstarter has already seen a very impressive £95,000 pledged (of a £15,000 goal) – but the clock is ticking if you want to get your hands on one at the special Kickstarter price – and it won’t go on general sale until May 2019, so hurry now to be one of the first to use the Enlarger! Just 24 hours left!
Intrepid 4×5 Enlarger – print & scan 35mm, 120 & 4×5 film. Convert any 4×5 camera into an enlarger and create high quality prints and scans from your 4×5, 120 and 35mm negatives.
Brilliant news from FIELD alumni The Intrepid Camera Co, as they launch their Kickstarter for their new ‘Intrepid Enlarger’, a product that started life at FIELD and has been over 2 years in the making.
Previously, enlarging at home has been limited to those with the space and budget for purpose built darkrooms- but not any more! The Intrepid Enlarger is an easy to use Lightbox attachment that fits to the back of any Graflok 4×5 camera, to convert it into a compact and capable photographic enlarger. You can use it to create incredible prints from your 4×5, 120, and 35mm negatives – all with one device small enough to fit in a coat pocket.
The £15,000 goal was reached within an amazing 25 minutes – but the campaign remains open until 3rd November – and lots of rewards are still available – starting from just £6! Head over to their Kickstarter page to find out more …
FIELD alumni The Intrepid Camera Co have been refining and increasing their product range recently, adding some really useful accessories and equipment to the list – now including film for their cameras too – see details here in their new Film Shop.
There’s also a very handy Photographer’s Notebook, ideal for keeping track of all your photographic settings, so you can compare and improve next time.
The next Kickstarter will be launching soon – subscribe to the Intrepid newsletter to keep in touch with all the news!
To hear and see more about what the team have been up to, there’s a great podcast here from Sunny 16, or watch some of the fascinating stories from photographers around the world using Intrepid’s cameras, here on their blog.
The FIELD experiment brought together a group of start-up businesses across a wide range of designs and products, each with very different skills. Our intentionally-communal setting of FIELD workspaces, along with a cafe and shared social spaces, allowed this group to quickly become a real community – sharing ideas and resources, encouraging one another, providing motivation and support – giving co-workers the space and sense of communal endeavour to enable them to grow their businesses.
In the words of some of the FIELD alumni;
Dave Lock, Play Talk Learn; “It’s been an amazing experience. Before FIELD, we were all working in garden sheds, basically, so having a base and being able to share that with like-minded people has been incredible.”
Max Grew, The Intrepid Camera Co; “It’s really motivating seeing everyone around you being busy. And we all get on so well too. It’s very different from working alone.
The sense of community at FIELD is such that the group has decided to carry on working together – and they are now all working at their own building in Brighton called LeftField! #LeftFieldBTN
The Central Research Laboratory (CRL London) is the first of our coworking spaces, and our second one at Preston Barracks (currently under construction) will be Brighton’s very own version: a shared meet + work space perfect for freelancers, part-timers and flexible workers. Product designers have access to prototyping workshops and hardware accelerator, and everyone can meet fellow creatives and innovators while enjoying community and business events.
To give you a taste of what’s coming to Brighton, have a look at what’s happening at CRL London this month:
Thursday 19 July: CRL’s renowned Demo Day will be taking place at U+I’s office at 7pm-10pm. This event will see the latest cohort of entrepreneurs on the Accelerator programme give their now perfected 5 minute pitches on their products, as well as make a call for the additional support they might need.
Thursday 26 July: Free coworking day at CRL – a tour of the space, a free community lunch (where you can network with our other members), followed by a beer and pizza social!
The CRL Accelerator programme is now open for applications – applications close 29 July.
More news + events from CRL London can be found here
One of the start-up businesses at FIELD was a little different to the others: rather than makers of products, MakerClub were helping create and educate the next generation of makers and inventors, setting up fun (but educational) kids’ clubs, involving electronics, programming and product design.
Now based at LeftField in Brighton (along with the rest of the FIELD crew!) they have been very busy on all kinds of new projects, as well as developing those started at FIELD.
They now hold their fantastic kids’ clubs direct at MakerClub HQ at LeftField, plus clubs for grown-ups too – “where you can learn to make… anything! We’ll train you up on 3D printing & design, laser-cutting, robotics, IoT… you name it! Our friendly in-house experts will be on hand all the way.”
Their #BrightFutures programme has now successfully recruited the support of several local businesses, with the aim of raising sufficient funds to put an invention club into every Brighton Primary school, transforming the way young people access future skills. More here.
In addition, MakerClub have teamed up with the Institute of the Imagination to create Mega Machines – a STEAM skills and design summer workshop for young inventors, based at U+Iplc’s temporary community& art centre, The Workshop London.
MakerClub is expanding – now operating in Bournemouth, Norwich and Greenwich – with a plan to open a club in every city in the UK!
“At Preston Barracks in Brighton, for example, U+I created FIELD, a co-working space for startups. In this instance it advertised for startups to apply for tenancy on a billboard and granted space to eight businesses.”
Read more here:
Developers are opening up buildings and other spaces set for redevelopment for temporary use by startups, pop ups and the public
The Intrepid Camera Co. story started with founder Max Grew’s (pictured) idea for an open-source design for a large-format camera, which became his final year project in Product Design at Sussex University. Soon after graduating in 2014, he found that there was strong demand for the finished product – which he realised he could create, build and sell in a commercial enterprise – so he and a partner founded The Intrepid Camera Co.
With a small loan they rented a tiny workshop in Hove, and built the first prototype 4×5 camera. In late 2014, after an amazingly successful Kickstarter campaign (more than doubling the £27,000 needed to start the company), they began manufacturing in earnest.
In late 2015, Max successfully applied to become part of the FIELD maker project, and in spring 2016 took up an 18-month residency in our spacious workshop – giving the company lots more room and scope to develop their product and grow. During this time, another new product was developed – the 8×10 – which was launched via another highly successful Kickstarter, in June 2017.
In late 2017, when the FIELD residency ended, Max moved with the rest of the FIELD residents to a new co-workspace in Brighton which they have created themselves, and called LeftField! Since moving, Intrepid Camera have built an even bigger workshop, increased the team, and created a new product in response to customer requests – a Lens Board Adaptor – now on sale in their online shop.
The Intrepid Camera Co has come a long way in four short years! It was great that FIELD could play a part in their success, in helping bring the company to meet its goals and potential, in a short space of time.
Find out more about Intrepid, follow their blog, or take a look at some of the stories from their customers and fans – such as Justin Lowery’s trip to Death Valley with an Intrepid 8×10. There’s also a video story on Nico’s Photography Show documenting Intrepid’s background and development as a successful start-up with a great idea.
Great to see our residents collaborating on a brilliant project – Brighton-based FIELD residents MakerClub are working with the Institute of the Imagination, based at The Workshop London, another U+I worthwhile-use initiative.
Together they are creating Lab Liftoff: Mega Machines
Mega Machines is a STEAM skills and design workshop for young inventors aged 8-12 years and over with the iOi and MakerClub – the world’s Number 1 Young Inventors’ Club!
From design to electronics, mechanics to programming, you’ll be designing, experimenting, prototyping and programming multiple mechanisms to carry out tasks in a creative and and whacky way. By the end of the week, each team will have designed and prototyped one big Mega Machine!
Just one of the questions posed at this week’s Big Debate in Brighton; asking an audience of businesses, workers, teachers and trainers how they are keeping up with such fast change and what new thinking is needed to make this happen, from changing perceptions about work and training, to adapting the tax system.
“The nature of work is going through profound and fast-moving change. Are we doing enough to ensure we have the right skills for employers?”
One of the fundamental issues discussed was how to futureproof teaching when future jobs haven’t yet been visualised. Could businesses do more to share the skills they will need in five years’ time or do they simply not know what these will be?
FIELD residents MakerClub are working with local schools and businesses to bridge this ‘future skills gap’ – bringing technical creativity within the grasp of all, through their social enterprise project BrightSparks, providing free access to after-school design & technology clubs for young makers from low income families, made possible by local digital businesses.
It would seem that collaboration, sharing and communication between educational and work places is essential; we all need to work together to keep up with the rapid speed of change.
The new CRL facility we are building at Preston Barracks aims to cultivate a vibrant community which thrives on the free exchange of ideas – a place where new partnerships can recognise and develop these future skills; learn from each other and grow.
Graphic Design & Illustration BA (Hons) Students from the University of Brighton were invited to design posters to convey the excitement, energy and diversity of the development of Preston Barracks.
A Brighton graffiti artist arranged the layout of the posters along 200m of hoardings on the Lewes Road, creating bold words and statements such as ‘A BRAVE NEW WORLD’ and ‘A PLACE TO EXPERIMENT’, to demonstrate the creative goals of the new community being built there.
Sarah Chitty from U+I said, “Our hoardings have a prominent position along the Lewes Road and we wanted to celebrate the project and the local community with a bold and striking new look. We are full steam ahead with the development and committed to the regeneration of this site.”
The Preston Barracks development is part of a wider £300 million masterplan that also includes the adjacent University of Brighton Moulsecoomb campus.
The Preston Barracks part will include 369 new homes, 534 student accommodation beds, a 50,000sq ft hub for start-up business and entrepreneurs, shops, cafes and workshop space to create a lively new street for the local community. The project will deliver over 1,500 new jobs and bring £281 million into Brighton & Hove’s economy over the next ten years.
From the U+I blog:
U+I believe that meanwhile-use is an integral part of the development process. In a world where there is an unavoidable delay between acquiring a site and beginning construction, meanwhile-use is instrumental in understanding the fine grain of a place, which would be completely missed by simply erecting hoardings until planning is secured.
It’s a developer’s responsibility to have a meaningful interaction with the local community in order to become educated on the history of the site and how it’s viewed by local residents. Unfortunately, many developers aren’t willing to invest the time and effort it takes to develop a rapport with residents and deliver something they truly need. Not only is this wasteful, but often damaging to the local community. It’s no surprise that boarded up sites incite resentment and the fear of change.
However, there are some developers that do try their hand at meanwhile-use, but as Richard Upton, Deputy CEO at U+I, commented last year, “somehow serving coffee at a fiver a cup does not feel right in the middle of a community where unemployment may be well above average. It is not connected with the community, has no understanding of the people around it which means it is of limited value in the short term and delivers nothing for the long term.”
We believe that meanwhile-use can be truly worthwhile when it has been conceived from an understanding of the community and a commitment to deliver social and economic value that is authentic to the area.
In 2015 we began our worthwhile-use initiative at Preston Barracks when we transformed a derelict building in Brighton into a co-working space for a bespoke community of innovative, local enterprises which we called FIELD. We carefully curated these businesses to ensure that they were each offering something distinctive to the community.
Whilst it may have taken a little more time to identify and house each of these businesses, we believe that it has enriched the community. One business owner managed to raise £200,000 through crowd-funding and said that the space provided to him at FIELD allowed him to save enough money to employ his first team member, one of the first milestones in the growth of a business.
The FIELD entrepreneurs felt such an impact from the success and community cultivated whilst hatching their businesses at FIELD, that they have established their own limited company. With the help of U+I, Leftfield (as the company will be known) has identified a new space where they can once again work with and support each other. U+I is proud to have been able to bring together such an dynamic mix of creatives that have formed genuine personal and professional relationships.
But the story doesn’t end there. After securing planning permission, construction at Preston Barracks will begin in spring/summer 2018 – the next stage in our delivery of a £300m PPP project, creating 1,500 jobs, providing hundreds of new homes and injecting over £500m into the local economy over the next 10 years.
Our work with FIELD has provided the inspiration to retain a co-working community within the final development. Once complete, Preston Barracks will be home to a brand new Central Research Laboratory where start-up and early-stage makers will be able to test and develop their products. Productivity is essential to making places like Preston Barracks work as a mixed-use community, and we are excited to be supporting the next generation of growing entrepreneurs in Brighton.
These are the entrepreneurs that have conceived Leftfield:
- Control Freq develops unique entry systems, evolving the technology behind intercom and door-entry systems into advanced on-demand car park access systems for ‘Airbnb of Parking’ providers.
Control Freq said: “During my time at FIELD, my business grew threefold and I gained determination and focus for the next few years. It’s been pivotal in turning my business around, getting more focused and feeling more positive about my business and personal future.”
- P Kirkwood creates handcrafted, functional and stylish leather bags and satchels for both men and women, including utility goods such as tool rolls and aprons.
P Kirkwood said: “Being around like-minded people in business is very important. I now have a great set of like-minded colleagues, who help each other out with all kinds of business as well as product development. FIELD has given me the opportunity to grow my business, but also to meet new friends and be part of something that is constantly evolving.”
- Play Talk Learn is a start-up dedicated to innovating early learning.
Play Talk Learn said: “The support from U+I has allowed us to focus our efforts and consolidate our work. We have learned a lot about collaboration from FIELD.”
- MakerClub is a network of after-school clubs based in the UK designed to teach invention and all the skills that come with it, in order to build a world-wide squad of creative thinkers, designers and problem solvers, ready to take on the world and remake it for the better.
Makerclub said: “When we joined FIELD, we were hoping to make connections with a community of start-ups in the same position and grow our company without the burden of high rents. Having [that] space has enabled us to make these mistakes, learn from them and develop our direction.”
- The Intrepid Camera is a handmade wooden 4×5 film camera, which combines modern manufacturing with traditional carpentry to create a beautiful handmade and lightweight professional product.
- Union Motion is a socially responsible engineering and innovation group that works on electric power systems for lightweight vehicles.
- Flux Bike Co create practical, affordable, everyday bicycles for deliveries and commuting. They are currently working on a series of exciting prototypes aiming for full production in the near future.
More on #worthwhileuse on the U+I blog http://www.uandiplc.com/news-and-views/blog/community/meaningful-places-starts-with-worthwhile-use
FIELD residents MakerClub have launched #BrightFutures – 12 months of events, articles and positive action to get our cities, businesses, schools and young people ready for the next 20 years of change.
By 2030, it’s estimated that up to 60% of the worlds jobs will be in industries or sectors that don’t even exist yet. But by giving young people the tools to create with technology rather than just consume it, we are making them more resilient for a rapidly changing world.
MakerClub plan to raise £200,000 to put an invention club into every Brighton primary school, transforming the way young people access future skills. To get involved see https://makerclub.org/brightfutures/
The launch took place in the fab new makerspace at #LeftfieldBTN – as tweeted below:
— The FuseBox (@FuseBoxBtn) March 22, 2018
We were part of the #BrightSparks campaign launched in March 2017 by @MakerClub and looking forward to the launch event for their #BrightFutures campaign > https://t.co/aEj9rUnrkr #MakerClub pic.twitter.com/21peXi2s2L
— Plus Accounting (@PlusAccounting) March 22, 2018
Our residents at FIELD Play Talk Learn are a group of makers with a huge wealth of experience and range of skills across product design, technology, electronics and engineering – all coming together to develop novel and engaging digital toys that support early learning. The emphasis is on using digital technology to encourage children to play, communicate, and be creative.
Their product Numbuko builds upon leading research into early learning. Unlike most maths toys, Numbuko is about understanding how numbers work, not simply practising sums. And, most importantly, Numbuko offers a creative and engaging way to learn maths.
This month has been a hive of activity on Instagram for the maker community, as the #MarchMeetTheMaker 31 day Instagram Challenge unfolds. As its founder Joanne Hawker explains; “it’s more than just a challenge, it’s a creative community that comes together to show people what they can do. It’s about building each other up, making new connections, telling your small business story, growing your confidence (and Instagram following) and most importantly, it’s about putting yourself out there”.
We’ll be posting about our FIELD group of makers this month too, starting with Paula Kirkwood, who has set herself the #MarchMeetTheMaker Challenge! You can follow her posts here on Instagram @pkkirkwood (as below) and read more about her handcrafted denim and leather business here
Hello ????…. this is the face behind your leather goods, taken last week in the winter sun before the snow…. starting the @joannehawker #meetthemakermarch ….. going to try really hard to show you more about the process of my work and inspiration behind it. @pkkirkwood #pkirkwood #face #meetthemaker #leatherwork #leathercraft #handcrafted #smallbiz #madeinengland
We paid a visit to the new LEFTFIELD makerspace recently, and were amazed to see how they have transformed the space – from a cavernous open warehouse to a neat collection of individual workshops. The spaces feel welcoming and bright, with lots of communal areas to meet, chat and drink tea – and plenty of room to work. Great to see the old FIELD red tunnel timbers upcycled and put to good use!
All the spaces but one are occupied – so if you know of a maker looking for a workshop, tell them to get in touch!
Looking forward to seeing the next stage of their awesome journey …
Two years ago today, on 27th February 2016, we invited the successful FIELD applicants to meet at the newly refurbished Field House, Preston Barracks – where they were soon to set up their workshops and maker-spaces on a rent-free residency basis.
Of the above, the first six moved on from FIELD together (when the project ended in November 2017), and we helped them to set up a new co-working space in central Brighton – called Leftfield – where they are now building a new community of entrepreneurs.
Watch this space for more news from Leftfield!
Fresh fields and pastures new…
The sustainable businesses which previously operated at FIELD have been very busy lately, preparing their new sites, shops and spaces. This weekend is set to be especially busy for the Wood Store and Brighton Bike Hub, who are both holding their opening day launch events this Saturday 17th February! See below for details:
WOOD STORE New Shop Launch Day at Emmaus in Portslade, Brighton – 17/02/18 From 11am, plus lots of new activity and training workshops on offer.
BIKE HUB Opening event 17/02/18 1-4pm at their new site off Lewes Road, Brighton
BRIGHTON REPAIR CAFE are holding their monthly pop-up at the Hanover Centre on Saturday 24th February 10.30am-12.30pm; now a regular slot on the last Saturday of each month.
EXPLORING SENSES have half-term activities at Brighton Science Festival, plus lots of workshops and activity ongoing at their Makerlab pop-up on Brighton sea front
BLOCK BUILDERS are also part of this year’s Brighton Science Festival
MAKERCLUB are now offering classes and half-term activities at their brand-new Brighton club, recently opened at the Leftfield workspace (which was created by our FIELD residents!).
All are invited to celebrate the re-opening of the Brighton Bike Hub community cycle workshop at their new premises in St Martin’s Place!
For more details, see the Bike Hub Facebook event page here and info below:
Brighton Bike Hub Opening Event: Saturday 17 February 1pm-4pm
Check out the new workshop facilities and range of affordable second-hand bikes.
Enjoy food, drinks and music with our members, neighbours and other supporters.
how we can help you maintain your bike by accessing our tools and advice and support from our volunteer team.
how we bring disused and unloved bikes back to life and back out on the streets
how you can get involved (you don’t need to be a bike expert just be up for helping out)
Brighton Bike Hub is a volunteer-run community cycle workshop supporting D.I.Y. repairs and selling refurbished bikes. We have recently re-located from FIELD at Preston Barracks to 28 St Martin’s Place off Brighton’s Lewes Road. We have installed an off-grid solar & wind-turbine system which is powering some of our lighting. We plan to develop this further in the months ahead.Everyone is welcome to come and use our tools and facilities to keep their bike on the road.
Donations of bikes are most welcome as are offers to join our volunteer team.
We’re also part of the ‘Lewes Road for Clean Air’ community group working in partnership between the University of Brighton Students Union.
We are open Wednesday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm.
Location: 28 St Martin’s Place, Lewes Road Brighton BN2 3LE
We’ve made some videos about FIELD, featuring our amazing resident businesses!
Meanwhile Use should be Worthwhile: FIELD, Brighton
Based at the Preston Barracks regeneration site in Brighton & Hove, FIELD became an exciting hub of industry for 8 hardware startups, plus edible landscaping & sustainable community businesses.
Preston Barracks, Brighton: Empowering small businesses
We worked with the council and university to create a temporary space for some incredible local creative businesses. Together with a lot of other partners, FIELD enabled 9 businesses to start up, find their feet and grow.
See more videos from U+I on our YouTube channel
The lovely sustainable businesses who were part of the FIELD family have all been sharing their news recently on their various new sites, new shops, new venues and spaces! Read more here:
New shop at Emmaus in Portslade for The Wood Store
“We’re making good progress with the shop fit for our new shop within Emmaus Brighton. The stud wall in the entrance room has been removed and we’ve sanded the floor. Opening date will be announced very soon!”
New basement brewery in Brighton for Old Tree Brewery
“We are working away in the basement of this building (YachtWerks) our new home as part of Werks Group trying to get our live drinks brewery finished ASAP!”
New site at St Martin’s Place (off Lewes Road) now open for Brighton Bike Hub
“Brighton Bike Hub is now open Wed to Sat, 11am – 5pm, to help you fix your bike. We’re also working on donated bikes to give them new life and make them available at reasonable prices.”
New pop-up venue for Brighton Repair Cafe
“We have a new venue for our January event… the wonderful Hanover Centre on Southover Street in Hanover.”
Wishing all the best to all!
The FIELD residents are featured in a double-page piece in The Argus’ Business section this week:
“FIELD was created by developer and regeneration specialist U+I in August 2015.
A derelict building at Preston Barracks in Brighton was transformed into a co-working space for a collection of innovative, start-up local businesses while the site awaited planning permission and development.
Each of the businesses offered something very different, from handcrafted leather products to encouraging children to become the next generation of inventors.
But by working together to offer one another advice, support and community, these businesses have been able to grow and develop at a rate that wouldn’t have been possible alone.”
We have been holding all sorts of community events at FIELD, and have welcomed over 5,000 people to our events since we opened. Here are some highlights from 2107…
15 April – FIELD2FORK #1: Community Gardening Event
We held demonstrations on how to garden and grow food in spaces of any size; plus an Easter egg hunt, games, music, workshops on compost making & seed planting, plant sales, seed swap + lots more. The Mayor even came along and planted a tree!
6 May – FIELD2FORK #2: Community Food Event
6-28 May – Artists Open House at FIELD
17 June – FIELD Summer Fete & Community Picnic with the GreatGetTogether
We invited the local community to have a picnic with us, with a BBQ and Old Tree’s ales & ciders – all made here at FIELD!
23 August – Community Lunch event
We invited the local children’s charity Chomp for a FIELD day out, with a complimentary lunch and activities for the families they support during the summer holidays. Everyone had a great time sampling delicious food in the FIELD café, and then outdoor games and bike fun with Bike Hub!
The last 18 months have been an eventful time for the FIELD resident start-ups, as their businesses really began to take off! Here are some of their highlights from the first half of 2017:
January – announce new initiative: 10 for 10 BrightSparks
February – secured investment totalling £350k, to open 50 more children’s clubs over 2017-2018
March – reached a milestone: made, sold and shipped 1,000 cameras since starting manufacture in early 2015.
May – Kickstarter £18k goal was fully funded within 12 minutes of going live on 25th May – so they could begin making the next generation of Intrepid Cameras, the 8×10.
July – Kickstarter closed at £220,722 – more than twelve times their original goal!
May – new prototype (a small, affordable electric motorbike) now at test-drive stage – more here
June – “signs the 2 largest online parking marketplaces to be part of a parking revolution, as airbnb was to hotels”. ‘Just Park’ and ‘Your Parking Space’ as featured in Breakthrough Magazine; p44 here
Watch this space for more highlights …
Our FIELD partners have also been busy relocating, and here’s an update on their news:
The Wood Store have relocated their shop right next door to the LeftField group! They have cleverly expanded the use of their existing carpentry workshop, based in the New England Quarter of Brighton, to include a retail space – which will also host special workshops and demonstrations to show the amazing potential for upcycling ‘waste’ wood into useful and beautiful items for home and garden.
Old Tree have moved to new temporary premises at YachtWerks in Brighton to enable them to continue brewing whilst they develop a new charitable trust fund, which they hope will lead further to realising their vision of land regeneration and earth repair.
Bike Hub have moved to a new yard off St Martin’s Place – just along Lewes Road from FIELD – grand opening soon to be announced!
FIELD was set up in 2015 as a pilot project; to inform a clear vision of what Brighton & Hove’s diverse entrepreneurial community needs from a potential permanent facility (which will be part of the redevelopment of Preston Barracks).
Two very interesting and successful years later, we can see that the FIELD experiment has certainly proved our theory correct: that creative entrepreneurial innovators and inventors will thrive in a diverse workspace environment which encourages the free exchange of ideas.
Our group of start-up business residents at FIELD have had an amazing experience here; all meeting or exceeding their goals and expectations, and building a strong working community of friendship and co-operation.
We are delighted that the FIELD group have enjoyed their time here so much that they wish to keep on working together as a group, and have moved into new shared premises in Brighton as a group – which they have (fittingly) called LeftField!
We look forward to the next chapter of their story… watch this space!
After 18 action-packed months, the FIELD project has now closed its doors, and our 8 new start-up businesses (who were awarded residencies at FIELD in 2016) have moved on to new business premises.
We won’t be quite as active on our FIELD social media accounts from now on, but you can continue to follow the residents on their individual accounts, as here.
We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the FIELD project; the residents and our partner businesses, the café customers, the gallery guests, the event visitors, the community organisers – you have all contributed in making this an absolutely brilliant experience!
It was great to welcome the whole team from the Central Research Laboratory, to visit us at FIELD. Here’s their blog about the visit:
On Monday 14 August the CRL team were pleased to make a trip to Field Brighton to experience how our sister co-working space operates, as well as to see first-hand all of the great things that have been achieved there.
Field Brighton was set-up in early 2016 at Preston Barracks, a disused former military site that had fallen into disrepair, to provide a diverse selection of Brighton & Hove based entrepreneurs with a temporary, rent-free space, as a means of fostering and growing their businesses. The temporary space, funded by Coast to Capital LEP and U+I, also includes a wood workshop, a bike hub, space for a Brighton University funded community project and a café. The businesses that have made their home there include: Play Talk Learn, Intrepid Camera, Control Freq, Flux Cycle Works and P Kirkwood. Once the current site is closed there are plans for a 50,000 sqft campus for product design and technology start-ups and small businesses to open in its place.
Makers use of the space:
Our tour of the site was a great opportunity for the team to see how the current occupants operate within the space and also how they support one another. Given the building was originally built for military training, it’s incredibly sturdy and it was interesting to hear that, although it had been badly neglected for a number of years, only a few modifications were needed outside of a lick of paint and some TLC in order for it to be repurposed.
We happened to see Intrepid Camera mid production (makers of ‘The Intrepid 8×10’ a lightweight, high quality, affordable Field Camera), it was fascinating to find out a bit more about their process and to see how they used the workshop space. We also had a chance to catch-up with Control Freq Director, Noel Sesto, who briefly discussed the exciting plans for their revenue generating mobile solutions for the taxi and parking industries. Once the space is closed all of the current tenants have decided to stay together.
The future of the site:
A key aim of the current project was always to inform the design of the larger-scale campus for product design and technology start-ups set to built in the location; the new site will be more in line with the model that Central Research Laboratory is built on. The businesses use of the current space – their needs, how it’s evolved with them using it, what else they require – all make for valuable intel that will be used to inform the design of the new premises. The building in its place will be more similar to CRL in terms of its capabilities, but at its core will continue with Field’s good work of giving product design and technology entrepreneurs the space, facilitates and support to thrive.
The new product design campus, which is part of the wider plans to regenerate the North of Brighton, aims to create 700 jobs over 10 years. U+I have been selected as the key partner in bringing the site forward.
It was great to visit the current site and we’re so excited to see what’s in store for the site next…
You can read more about the CRL here http://www.centralresearchlaboratory.com/about/
The above blog can be found here http://www.centralresearchlaboratory.com/crls-tour-field-brighton/
We had a great day at FIELD for our summer fete on SATURDAY 17th JUNE, featuring a community picnic with More In Common, The Great Get Together – inspired by Jo Cox, joining others across the country getting together with their local community and celebrating all that unites us.
Our resident Andrew from Flux cooked up a South African-style barbeque on his braai, and Old Tree Brewery served their amazing craft beers, ales & ciders, plus yummy vegan & vegetarian snacks and cakes – all to be enjoyed at our community street-party table. Old Tree brought along their fascinating new contraption – the Terra Preta – and gave talks on soil health and carbon neutral practices.
We also celebrated Bike Week and 200 years of the Bicycle with Brighton Bike Hub, who provided games & races plus a bouncy castle. The Wood Store are put on all kinds of workshops & woodcraft for adults & children alike. Lots of fun was had by all!
To launch our first Artists Open House event at FIELD we held a community & family fun day – FIELD2FORK #2 on Saturday 6th May, with children’s activities, music and entertainment for all ages.
Attractions were brought to the day from all our wonderful partners at FIELD: Bike Hub offered a cycling obstacle course, facepainting and games; The Wood Store held box-making workshops for children to try their hand at carpentry, and for gardeners of all ages there were free workshops on creating a mini forest garden, edible planting and soil health from Old Tree – who also supplied delicious home-made food and drink, and led a Botanical Treasure Hunt. We even had an outdoor pizza kitchen!
Everyone had a great day in the spring sunshine, with lots to see and learn – and an art gallery to enjoy too!
We were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Pete West to our event at FIELD on 15th April – FIELD2FORK, a celebration of spring. He helped to plant a little oak tree – a symbol of life and growth for the future, and started off the very popular children’s Easter Egg hunt! Everyone had a lovely day, with all kinds of activities ranging from making pots to planting seeds. In fact it was so much fun that we are going to do it all again on 6th May with another FIELD2FORK – so watch this space!
Come and view our first Artists Open House at FIELD; a specially curated exhibition inspired by our hub of local Brighton makers and entrepreneurs. The FIELD cafe and garden are open for refreshments from Old Tree, and our on-site shop The Wood Store is showing artwork from reclaimed materials. Featuring various workshops and events from our guest artists plus creative upcycling from Brighton Bike Hub, Remade In Brighton and Repair Cafe Brighton.
FIELD House can be found here on the Artists Open House website and brochure (p.72) where we are No.11 on the Independent Trail. Our guest artists include:
The FIELD Open House gallery will be open 6 days a week (closed Mondays) between 6th – 28th May 2017
TUES – FRI 9am-5pm
Please check our Facebook AOH event page for updates on workshops, events and more!
SATURDAY 15 APRIL 11am-4pm
This will be a community + family-friendly event where you can discover fun ways to grow food – whether it’s in a small urban space or a big back yard – everyone can grow something! We will be joined by the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, who will be helping us plant something!
Featuring an Easter egg hunt, games, music plus fun workshops on compost making, seed planting, salad growing, willow weaving – plant sales, seed swap + lots more, including food and drink by Old Tree Brewhouse Cafe; gardening goodies from What You Sow, Dr Bike sessions and kids’ cycle obstacle course from Brighton Bike Hub PLUS Easter bike decorating, and crafty things to make from Remade in Brighton!
More details here on the FIELD Facebook events page
Cyclists are welcome at FIELD Brighton, where we cater for both you and your bike! Delicious homemade food and drink by our partners Old Tree, plus the fantastic Brighton Bike Hub who provide workshop assistance and sales. Lots of outdoor space to sit and enjoy the sunshine and flowers in our cafe garden, and plenty of secure parking on our Cyclehoop racks. We are directly on the A27 Lewes Road – Sustrans Regional Route No. 90
FIELD residents MakerClub have been successful in securing substantial investment in their business, which will allow them to expand tenfold from their current network of 10 Makerclubs – to 100 in across the UK! They hope to achieve this ambitious goal by end of 2017 – which will provide tech skills sessions for up to 10,000 young inventors nationwide. Each club will be linked to a local MakerClub BrightSparks programme, offering 10 children in each area the chance to reach their full potential as inventors of the future!
The programme’s success is reported here in The Argus
It was a pleasure to host a visit from the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Pete West, to meet all the FIELD residents last month. They had lots to talk about, as the Mayor was once a student of Engineering at the University of Brighton – studying right next door to FIELD at UoB Watt’s Building! Everyone got together afterwards for a delicious lunch in the FIELD cafe, made by our resident brewers and cooks, Old Tree.
FIELD partners Community 21 recently worked with University of Brighton students from 3D Design and Craft, to help create products for the Bevy Pub in Bevendean, Brighton – the first community owned pub on a social housing estate in the UK.
They ran workshops to enable key themes, ideas and issues to be raised. The pub is keen to promote inclusivity and a diverse public and many of the products explored this. This video shows the students presenting their ideas for a range of products made in 20 days.
A great fun night! Well done everyone and thanks to the Bevy team. Read more about the event here
Brighton’s second Love Your Bike Week took place at FIELD over half-term week 11-18 February 2017.
Brighton Bike Hub hosted a raft of free cycling-themed activities, helping young cyclists prepare their bikes for Spring and Summer by showing children how to look after their bikes, and helping improve their cycling skills by offering training around a purpose-built assault course, in collaboration with Sustrans’ ‘Bike It’ programme for schools.
Remade in Brighton brought their micro-remakery textile projects plus ‘The Huberdashery’ – salvaged textiles and materials such as buttons, pins and needles – which will be part of a regular pop-up event at FIELD on the second Saturday of each month, starting on 11th March, 12-3pm. Details on Remade and their events here.
‘BrightSparks 10 for 10’ is a pilot project looking for 10 pioneering businesses to sponsor 10 awesome young people who want to fulfill their potential as the inventors of the future – but who haven’t had access to the right encouragement, equipment or learning paths.
Young people aged between 8 and 13 years old on free school meals will be put forward by their local ICT coordinator to become part of this project, and to receive a laptop, weekly mentoring and tech training, careers advice and lots more besides.
If your business would like to be part of BrightSparks 10 for 10, read more here
Intrepid Camera are ending a successful year at FIELD by shipping the first batch of their second generation camera made on-site. To appreciate their amazing 4×5 camera, you can admire these amazing photos taken by Justin Lowery using the camera on a recent trip to California’s Eastern Sierra.
Our very own Noel of Control Freq has offered up an entrepreneurial idea to help ease the parking congestion in the City via an innovative smart phone technology. See his idea via the local online news.
Our FIELD resident’s Makerclub were featured online on the Guardian website with a story on how they are providing opportunities for children to learn about technology. See the full story here.
The guys at Union Motion have had some great coverage on Motofire following the reveal of their amazing electric motorbike. See the full story here.
The Bike Hub are now open on-site at FIELD House 3 days of the week:
11am-4pm on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Follow the Bike Hub on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.
On Saturday 8th October we held a community and family fun day with all sorts of attractions from our fab four FIELD partners; Bike Hub, Community 21, Old Tree and Wood Store, and our excellent eight FIELD residents took the opportunity to showcase their products and working practices.
Attractions on the day included a bouncy castle; games, stalls and sideshows; live music, art & crafts, face-painting, ice cream & cakes, plus from the FIELD partners:
- Bike Hub – various bike-themed attractions
- Wood Store – mini-workshops and tombola
- Old Tree – harvest time hot food & drink, fresh-pressed apple juice, plus free tasters of their botanical drinks
- PlaceMakerSpace – Community21 held an interactive Dream City workshop
- FIELD foyer – Exploring Senses digital/audio/art exhibition, Who Sampled Who
- FIELD residents – display of products and activities from Intrepid Camera, P Kirkwood, Play Talk Learn – plus Union Motion and Flux Cycles had their bikes on show.
Also featured at FIELD Day;
- REMADE in Brighton who brought along their vintage caravan to hold a pop-up remakery
- Brighton Science Festival who entertained and educated with Splat the Rat – showing how gravity & forces make games fun.
- Local information stall from Coombe Road LAT and University of Brighton’s Community Partnership CUPP
- And we donated a fully-stocked GOSH Patisserie cake stall to the Martlets Hospice charity, run by trustee Cllr Ann Norman & husband Cllr Ken Norman – who raised a fantastic £200 by selling yummy cakes on the day!
We’ve had a rather nice review of The Old Tree Brewery and FIELD courtesy of The Source Brighton. You can read their take on FIELD here
Here is John from the Woodstore giving a tour to a group of lovely students from the World Student Environmental Network who came to learn about the sustainable businesses here at FIELD this week.
We are thrilled to welcome the Repair Cafe to FIELD to help local people fix up bicycles, electronic, electrical goods and anything that needs sewing or gluing. They’ll be on-site at FIELD on the last Saturday of each month from 12-3pm. Find out more here
This beautiful group of friendly faces are enjoying a lovely lunch curtosey of the Old Tree Brewery!
Today Caroline Lucas MP met some of our unique start-up businesses when she visited FIELD. After meeting our residents she commented, “It is fantastic to see so many extraordinary and clever makers here and to meet our home-grown talent. These are the businesses creating the new products and business models that will change the way we live in years to come.”
Caroline called in on all the residents as well as visiting the partners based at FIELD and enjoyed some refreshments in Old Tree Brewery’s café. James Nettleton from U+I, who was showing Caroline around alongside Sarah Chitty explained “This is an experiment to establish what the future of workspace looks like in Brighton, we don’t have all the answers yet, so FIELD is about asking questions and engaging with potential end users, with a view to it helping us design a new facility which makes a meaningful contribution to workspace in the city, which is currently under-supplied.”
Photography by firstname.lastname@example.org
The corridors of FIELD were ringing with the sound of the European Queer Choir rehearsals today! The Old Tree Cafe provided the perfect spot for some pitch perfect harmonies.
We hosted the Glass Heap challenge over the weekend, a four day pop-up event featuring on-site demonstrations enabling visitors to truly understand glass as a material and its upcycling potential to create designs ranging from tableware to architectural applications. The demonstrations showed that you can heat and manipulate glass with just low energy and basic equipment consisting of mobile glass blowing facility and a flame work bench.
You can find out more about the Glass Heap Challenge here