Jules Pipe, the Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, has officially opened BloQs, the UK’s first open access workshop, in the heart of Enfield Council’s Meridian Water development in Edmonton, on the 10th February.
BloQs will provide new workspace with facilities for woodworking, metalworking, fashion and sewing, engineering, spray finishing, as well as services such as courses, classes and hireable meeting rooms, for thousands of small business in North London.
Users have access to £1.3m-worth of light industrial equipment, usually beyond the reach of most new businesses, including: industrial mills, lathes, sanders, saws, CNC routers, laser cutting, 3D printers, spray booths and sewing machines.
Current members range from fashion designers, furniture makers and interior designers to playground designers, metal fabricators and eco-entrepreneurs. Once registered, members can pre-book spaces and facilities as they need them.
BloQs’ larger facility will provide workspace at Meridian Water for small businesses to grow and new businesses to be created.
Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “I was delighted to be back in Enfield today to join the official opening of BloQs’ new, industry-leading workspace.
“BloQs is an innovative example of what can be achieved when businesses, boroughs and City Hall work together to add value to local communities and economies. The ability of our small businesses to rebuild and thrive will be a crucial element of London’s post-pandemic recovery and BloQs gives businesses the space, materials and resources to do just that.
“Meridian Water is one of London’s most exciting regeneration areas and I’m proud that City Hall is investing in enhanced infrastructure and thousands of new homes. I look forward to following the area’s progress closely in the years to come.”
The Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, commented: “I was excited to open the new BloQs’ facility in Edmonton today. The expansion of the Bloqs workshop will provide higher levels of employment in Enfield, directly supporting our creative industries and businesses.
“This is another great example of how Meridian Water is not only helping a local business grow but how it is becoming the key place in the borough for the creative sector to flourish. I am proud that our partnership with BloQs has allowed the space to grow for the benefit of local people, and I look forward to seeing local businesses use this fantastic new facility for many years to come.”
BloQs Founder Al Parra, said: “From the very beginning BloQs has been about providing professional makers and their businesses the right space and facilities to grow and make a living. We’ve done this by gathering a community that shares resources, and what really distinguishes us from other open-access workspaces is that we’re designed specifically to enable commercial activity.
With this new facility, we can give our community the space to make it work, we can create partnerships with education providers, manufacturers, suppliers, and our local communities. We’re deeply indebted and grateful to the many people and partners who have made this next step possible. We’re proud of how far we’ve come together and we can’t wait to show people around!”
An investment of £4m by the Greater London Authority and Enfield Council has enabled this groundbreaking concept to treble the scale of BloQs’ operations and meet the growing demand among professional makers for affordable workspace in London.