I hope the Grand Hall will be celebrated when it re-opens on 6th September. I am obviously a bit biased but I think the renewal of the Hall is very special. Haworth Tompkins Architects are very clever people and hundreds of people have fed in to the process. Walking in to that room now simply takes your breath away.
But beneath the Grand Hall there is another story brewing – which I think might go on to set the agenda for Battersea Arts Centre in decades to come. Perhaps even more than what happens in the Grand Hall?
The new Battersea Arts Centre Scratch Hub opens its doors on 17th September. It is a new co-working space for start-up businesses, growing enterprises and social entrepreneurs. It takes its name from Battersea Arts Centre’s Scratch process because the space is set up to encourage residents to test, develop and grow ideas.
We are carefully curating the membership of the Scratch Hub so that we nurture a diverse community for sharing skills, for being a source of feedback for one another and for sparking new connections and collaborations.
Memberships are structured flexibly to suit different needs and budgets, including unlimited and flexible hot-desking and a small number of fixed desks. There are also free Springboard memberships to support some great local projects and businesses which we think can make Wandsworth, and the world, a better place.
I think the potential connections between a cultural centre like Battersea Arts Centre and dozens of small enterprises working in the creative industries is incredibly exciting. Weirdly, I think it’s quite a rare thing You have great cultural centres in London. And great co-working spaces. But where do you have both? And I think the potential is massive.
Battersea Arts Centre works with hundreds of creative artists every year and hosts hundreds of events. It has dozens of creative spaces and a national and international reputation for developing new ideas.
We think this is a highly fertile environment for growing businesses. We’re especially interested to offer memberships to those who have an interest in making a positive difference in their community.
We are developing the space to suit different needs with a relaxing apartment, a quiet working library and a creative space for collaboration.
The architectural design and infrastructure has been put in place by Haworth Tompkins and the interior and furniture design has been created by Jeannine Inglis-Hall and Gary Campbell.
Members also have access to Elm House – a new events space right at the front of the building. We hope this enables members to connect with the thousands of people who walk in the front doors of the building every month.
We want to create a dynamic community with people from different backgrounds, sectors and with a range of experiences. So if you’re just starting out – or established with lots to share – if you’re committed to having a positive impact – and want to be part of an active community – then this could be for you.
Members will be able to exchange skills through a time-banking scheme, attend free talks and workshops to encourage collaborations and co-learning, and have a say in running your own events and how the Scratch Hub operates. You even get discounts on tickets to shows at Battersea Arts Centre.
We want the Scratch Hub to be the creative environment which gives you the confidence to take risks and to grow your business. Battersea Arts Centre has always been a developer of new ideas and supported great talent. And I think it will be the members of the Scratch Hub who are making the headlines in years to come.
There are a limited number of memberships so if you are interested, get in touch soon to find out more. If you want to express your interest then visit www.bac.org.uk/scratchhub