Making Space is a community-based craft organisation that creates opportunities for people to discover and develop design and making skills, increasing personal wellbeing through involvement in high-quality craft. We promote excellence in contemporary craft, design and visual arts.


As the lead craft organisation in Hampshire and the only visual arts organisation funded by Hampshire County Council, Making Space initiates opportunities for new networks and partnership working to raise the profile of craft. This includes working with local arts organisations and contributing to regional and national developments around craft and community engagement.



From its purpose-built studios in Leigh Park, Making Space organises courses, masterclasses and projects through which children, young people and adults can learn from skilled and experienced makers.


The building belongs to and is maintained by Hampshire County Council and Making Space has a contract to use it for purposes of craft, visual arts, community workshops and teaching.

It houses seven individual studio spaces that are leased to professional makers producing high quality work, as well as two fully equipped workshops that are available for hire, either as creative spaces or for business meetings.



Through our outreach projects, we work with partners including schools, children’s centres, family learning environments and retirement homes.

Our specially tailored projects are organised to inspire, challenge, skill-up, engage and build new audiences for the sector. We offer both first-time experiences of craft and work with those who want to take their skills to the next level. We enable people to develop new ways of thinking about craft and experience first-hand the important presence of craft in everyday life.



Making Space is at the centre of three circles of activity: community engagement, skills development and maker development. These activities support each other. Through our community engagement programme, anyone can develop their skills. Individuals may use those skills for their own interest and enjoyment, they may share them with others (their children, for example), or they may be able to use them as stepping stones towards further study, training or employment.

The professionals who rent studios at Making Space develop their skills by sharing knowledge and ideas with other makers on site and with the Making Space network; through the opportunities presented by Making Space for making and selling work to commission, and for teaching/leading workshops.

We are an outward-looking organisation and believe in the importance of sharing (be it resources, information or ideas), collaborating (with organisations, groups and individuals) and influencing (attitudes to, practice in and policy about craft).

What do we mean by craft?

We like the definition used by the National Society for Education in Art and Design:

Craft can be defined as intelligent making. It is technically, materially and culturally informed. Craft is the designing and making of individual artefacts or objects, encouraging the development of intellectual, creative and practical skills, visual sensitivity and a working knowledge of tools, materials and systems.

For Making Space, craft is part of everyday life.



Formed in 2002, Making Space became a registered charity organisation in 2005, and is formally known as the Museum of Modern Craft (MOMC Leigh Park Initiative Trust).

The MOMC was created by Southern Arts to address the lack of crafts infrastructure for makers in the region. The aim was to provide a purpose-built studio facility, teaching spaces and a major gallery and retail space. Following a restructure in 2002/3, Hampshire County Council took the strategic lead and MOMC was divided into studio and teaching facilities in the South (Making Space), with ambitions to also develop a gallery in Basingstoke (The Making).


Hampshire County Council identified Leigh Park as a key location for the Making Space project, with a view to engage the local community in arts and cultural experiences. The Board of Making Space Trustees worked alongside officers from Hampshire County Council and Havant Borough Council to plan and fundraise for the new venue. As a result of this, capital and revenue funding was provided by Hampshire County Council, Havant Borough Council, Arts Council England, Henry Smith Charity and SEEDA (Single Regeneration Budget).


Work on the building itself started in the summer of 2006, and the Making Space team moved to the site in the following March. HRH The Princess Royal formally opened the venue on the 8th May 2007.

The building is a unique single storey site that makes best use of light and space, with a central courtyard at its heart, from which all the studios connect. A glazed main corridor links the teaching spaces to the interior courtyard and offers a creative oasis for activities to take place in. It is a space that inspires and is loved by visitors, makers and the Making Space team alike. From this building, Making Space is able to connect with the community, taking our high quality programmes out and about into Havant and further afield.


Building designed by Alexander Design, Winchester
Studio gates designed by Jacqui Poncelet


Making Space is run, day-to-day, by a dedicated and creative team of staff:

Ami Hyde

Marketing and Education Programmer

Ami joined Making Space in August 2007, a few months after it opened. She began as a part time freelance intern and her role evolved to include managing the creative programme and over seeing two 2-year HLF projects. She is now the Marketing & Education programmer and remains the longest employee of Making Space.

Ami graduated from Portsmouth University in 2006 with a First Class Hons degree in Fashion & Textiles Enterprise.

In addition to her part-time role at Making Space, Ami has a thriving bohemian wedding and events business; Lo & Behold Bespoke which she runs with her husband and regularly delivers freelance creative workshops and events under the name of  Mia Mai.

Ami is a trained Arts Award Advisor, is PTTLS trained and also has a Youth Arts Management Training qualification.

nathan web
Nathan Chapman

Administration & Operations Coordinator

Marketing Assistant / Duty Manager

Nathan studied Drama Theatre and Television at King Alfred’s University College, Winchester and then spent the next ten years lecturing in drama, before setting up his own touring theatre company, SOOP Theatre. SOOP took their original work across the country, and won awards for their improvised comedy show.

Nathan joined Making Space in October 2017 as Marketing Assistant and has since taken on the role of Administration and Operations Co-ordinator.

His long and varied career has taken in education, arts marketing and retail, and when not working he enjoys spending time with his family, especially introducing his daughters to the wonders of Lego and modelling clay!

Peter Levy


Peter joined Making Space as a our Technician in 2009, prior to this Peter graduated from the University of Portsmouth with an MA in Fine Art (specialising in ceramics).

In 2008 he was awarded a year’s paid studio bursary and remained as our longest standing studio tenant at Making Space till March 2018.

Peter uses his acquired practical skills in his current role, looking after the general maintenance of the building and all of the kiln firings.

His professional practice encompasses mixed media collage work, painting, ceramics and glass.

Liz Weston

Interim Director

Liz Weston has joined Making Space in the role of Interim Director. She will be at Making Space for at least six months to help the organisation build on current strategies and develop new ones to work towards a sustainable future.

Liz’s background is primarily in performing arts, specifically theatre, circus and open-air events but she’s also run venues and spent 10 years as the Education and Outreach Manager at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth.

Julia de Klerk

Marketing Assistant / Duty Manager

Julia studied BA (Hons) Design at Goldsmiths University of London. After graduating she enrolled on a number of short courses in Jewellery design at Central St Martins. She has previously worked for creative organisations in London and Portsmouth as well as freelance design work and now runs her own jewellery business based in Hampshire.

Julia also teaches creative workshops, you can keep up to date on Julia’s current projects via her websiteFacebook & Instagram.


A Board of Trustees governs Making Space, helping to support the team with their knowledge and experience.

Gary Dickens

Gary has a background in business, entrepreneurship and event management. He currently runs the Park Community Enterprises, supporting community-based learning for young people, enabling them to develop business skills and become more employable.

Debbie Page

Debbie qualified as a charted accountant in 2001 and since leaving practice in 2003 has been working in industry in various international companies.  For many years she was a regional finance manager for Johnson Controls.

In her free time she enjoys being creative, she has attended many craft courses at making space and in 2005 started an evening ceramics course at south downs for a few years.  She is a keen ceramicist and takes part annually in the local May Days Art Trail.

Debbie was keen to volunteer at an organisation that she enjoys coming to and wants to ensure its continuing success.

Lesley Butterworth

Lesley is the General Secretary for the National Society for Education of Art and Design (NSEAD), the lead professional body for teachers of art, craft and design across the UK. Her work includes leading on Skills in the Making, a strand designed to improve the level of craft and design knowledge amongst schoolteachers. Lesley has worked in education and outreach roles at the Design Museum, Islington Artefacts Library and the National Gallery, and led Making It Work at Reading Museum.

Victoria Edwards

I am passionate about art and allowing young people especially, to learn and unlock the potential in the arts. I am a keen volunteer at making space, helping the office when evening classes are on as well as helping on workshops.

I am currently looking for work opportunities but i am volunteering to not only help the causes that mean the most but to gain valuable experience also.

Fiona Wilson

Fiona an innovative fundraiser and campaigner with a 32-year good track record of fundraising in the UK and Middle East.   She spent five years as head of Public Fundraising at Comic Relief and worked at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth where she secured over £4.5 million for their capital campaign to rebuild the theatre. Fiona is now External Funding & Projects Manager at Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils.

Richard Walker

Richard trained in Restoration and Decorative Arts at University of Portsmouth and is an expert gilder. He is dedicated to product development, innovation and education and has developed new finishes not yet available on the market.   As a professional gilder, Richard’s craft skills are niche. He is sought by other designers and artists to create finishes for their products and, in some cases, mentor them through the process; explaining how they can embellish their designs with bespoke metal leaf surfaces. Richard is a studio holder at Making Space.

Kate Hallett

Kate has always had an interest in textile design and currently enjoys participating in a variety of creative courses at West Dean, Making Space and other local organisations. Prior to retiring Kate had a career spanning 30 years on the London and Hampshire Police force and worked in multiple roles at Havant Borough Council including tourist information.

On leaving full time employment Kate took on committee roles with The Arts Society, Portsdown, including Young Arts, working with Making Space and A.C.E.

Vicki Brown

Victoria is a maker and educator.

She trained at Goldsmiths College and the Royal College of Art and then had a successful millinery business including designing and making hats for Jean Muir Ltd. From 1997-2017 Victoria was a Senior Lecturer in the Fine Art Department at the University of Chichester.  Now she is returning to millinery and felt making working from her studio in Emsworth.

Loucia Manopoulou

Loucia is a passionate curator and experienced project manager who has extensive knowledge of art, culture and crafts, and has worked in a wide range of environments for nearly 15 years both in Greece and the UK.

A true team player who enjoys creative collaboration.

Currently a PhD candidate at the University for the Creative Arts, exploring contemporary British crafts, curatorship and performance art.




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