Making Space is a purpose-built craft centre in the heart of Leigh Park, a large post-war social housing scheme. We have two large accessible spaces with a programme of workshops and skills development projects, alongside seven start-up studios for emerging makers. The building belongs to, and is maintained by, Hampshire County Council who agreed a new 25 year rent-free lease in 2018. We create opportunities for people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities to discover and develop their design and making skills and improve their personal well-being through involvement in high quality craft.
Making Space was established in 2002 by Southern Arts (the then regional arts board) and Hampshire County Council to meet the needs of Havant and especially Leigh Park. Havant is a borough of contrasts – areas of affluence with pockets of acute deprivation. According to the Index of Multiple Deprivation, three of the wards in Leigh Park (Battins, Warren Park and Bondfields) are among the 10% most deprived wards in the UK. Battins, where Making Space is based, is ranked 1,513 out of the 32,844 wards identified as suffering Multiple Deprivation.
Our staff and board team are made up of those who have built creative careers from ordinary backgrounds. 75% of our board have personal experience living in an area of deprivation or identify as having experienced multiple deprivation. As of October 2022, 50% of the board will be Leigh Park residents.
We have designed and delivered over 1000 inspiring creative projects, and created an inclusive, thriving creative community.
Our sessions engage people who might be seldom heard, may feel that arts are not for them or find it challenging to access mainstream provision. We collaborate with agencies and community groups to work with refugees, asylum seekers, the homeless and for those living in refuges, hospice care and assisted living.
Our makers tailor workshops with a focus on inclusivity and accessibility, to meet the needs and challenges faced by user groups, enabling us to work with people with mental health issues, disabilities and chronic illness, Young people with learning difficulties, children in danger of being involved with the criminal justice system, victims of domestic abuse and the elderly.
We demonstrate that culture and creativity are instrumental in building thriving communities and for 15+ years have demonstrated the impact through crafting in Leigh Park.