The Making Rooms, Blackburn’s creative, digital and technological hub is now open.
The three storey facility will boast one of the country’s biggest and best equipped Fab Labs (Fabrication Laboratory) where residents can use small scale digital manufacturing machinery such as laser cutters and 3D printers to develop products, artwork or bespoke designs.
In addition, there is a coffee bar and exhibition space along with two floors of workspaces that will be used as incubators for start-ups, training or meeting rooms, and artist studios.
The Making Rooms, based in the former Bentley’s Café Bar on Exchange Street, will also run courses in electronics and computer coding, as well workshops in making basic products to help familiarise visitors with the equipment.
Businesses will also be invited to use the machines to develop prototypes and for testing.
It will be open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays, 9am -5pm and occasional evenings. It will open for business use, training workshops and community groups from Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm. The coffee bar is open to all from 7.30am Monday to Friday and from 9am Saturdays.
Headed by Dr Eddie Kirkby who was previously at the Manchester-based Manufacturing Institute, it has been funded by Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership LEP.
He said: “It’s very exciting to able to finally show the public what we’ve been working on. This is an outstanding facility with state of the art machinery that any top university would be glad to have.
I would encourage people to come in and take a look just to find out more. We are aiming it at everyone from students and product designers, to families and people just wanting to have a go at making something..
I’d really like to see people coming down to see what we have to offer and to talk to us about how we can help them make their ideas a reality.”
The Bakery project will also be holding a series of creative workshops for young people in Blackburn.
For more information visit www.makingrooms.org