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Archive for November, 2015

The Factory gives Meningitis Research Foundation a helping hand

Earlier this month the team at our digital manufacturing space KWMC: The Factory teamed up with law firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards (VWV) and Collecteco to provide the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) with upgraded furniture for its new office in central Bristol.

VWV donated surplus furniture and Collecteco assisted MRF in acquiring 38 desks from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Southampton office, as part of their work to redistribute furniture and other equipment to good causes.

As the desks were too wide for the planned space, Collecteco put MRF in touch with KWMC: The Factory, based at Filwood Green Business Park.

Our team were able to remanufacture the desks to the right specification, ensuring that the Meningitis Research Foundation have everything they need for their big move.  We wish them well in their new home!

For more details about how KWMC: The Factory could work with your business contact Justin or call 0117 903 0444.

Image: Meningitis Research Foundation

Office furniture from VW

Turn your ‘junk’ into gems this Black Friday

As Black Friday dawns and Christmas shoppers start the hunt for gifts at bargain prices, a group of artists are encouraging people to breathe new life into old toys – rather than throwing them away to make room for new ones.

Over the last few months we’ve been collaborating with artists Ludic Rooms have been touring the streets of Knowle West with a toy trike, collecting unwanted toys and games and recording the stories behind them.

We discovered that, a month before Christmas, many people take stock of their toys and games, throwing old ones away to make room for the new gifts they’re buying or expecting. Items are often in a useable condition or can be easily mended.

With funding from the Bristol 2015 Neighbourhood Arts Programme for Green Capital year, we ran a number of ‘toy hacks’ where children and families worked with artists and technologists to make new toys and games from the donated items, transforming them into something that everyone could enjoy.

A broken garage for toy cars became a wildlife haven as it was remodelled as the Minibeast Hotel. A solitary bike wheel and some wooden beams came together to form a balance board.  Hundreds of broken character toys and fast food freebies were reborn as new exciting action figures.

Working with Ludic Rooms we’ve also produced a series of short films recommending simple and affordable ways to recycle old toys. These will be launched online on 27th November – to coincide with Black Friday.

Melissa Mean, Head of our Arts Programme, said: “There’s another side to Black Friday: as well as the shopping and buying, lots of toys and games are discarded that could easily be transformed into something new. We hope The Forgotten Toys project will encourage people to see “junk” in a different way and try out our easy and fun ways to reuse old toys. If we just use our imagination, we can reduce the amount we needlessly send to landfill, bring people together, and create something playful and fun in the process.”

Dom Breadmore from Ludic Rooms said: “We’ve been really inspired by the stories and playful memories of the people we’ve met whilst out on the toy trike in Knowle West. We’re really hoping that this project will inspire families to look again at the toys that we all consider throwing away to see the forgotten play potential in these objects – often beyond how they were intended to be used. The only limit is our collective imagination.”

Watch the films on Facebook from 27th November.

For more information visit or contact KWMC on 0117 903 0444.

Can you spot the Bedminster elves?

Mystery and making are coming to the streets of Bedminster and Southville this Christmas, as a troupe of elves pop up in unexpected places…

100 elves, decorated by primary school children and an artist, will be hidden in windows, trees and around the streets for people to find from Saturday 28 November. The Elf Takeover is coordinated by Bedminster Town Team, who have been working with us, artist Russ Henry of Hot Soup House and a local primary school to bring some locally made magic to the streets.

For two weeks in November our digital manufacturing space became a Santa’s workshop, with the cutting and sanding of 100 wooden elves.

Our team then supported 60 six year olds from St Peter’s CofE Primary School in Bishopsworth to design and decorate their own elves. The sessions were part of our new education programme for schools, Maker Lab in a Box, which offers opportunities for schoolchildren to experiment with digital manufacturing and new technologies, try out the latest making tools, and explore careers in the industry.

Artist Russ Henry designed 40 elves to complete the troupe.

The Elf Takeover is run by Bedminster Town Team and will feature four properties – The Elf and Safety Office, Elf Hotel, Santa’s Mailroom and the Elf Workshop – and each of the properties will be interactive, featuring voice activated experiences, lighting effects and falling snow. Several elves will be accompanied by ‘sElfie sticks’, so people can capture the moment.

To find out more about the Bedminster Elves visit their Facebook page.

For more details about making at KWMC contact Justin. For details of our schools’ programme contact Penny.



My Knowle West shortlisted for national digital award

Our ‘local social network’ My Knowle West was nominated for an award at this year’s Next Gen digital awards.

The app, which enables people to share photos and updates about positive activities happening in their area, was shortlisted alongside five other finalists in the ‘Intelligent Communities’ category.

On 5th November, members of the KWMC team traveled down to London for the Next Gen 15 conference and the evening awards ceremony, which took place in the House of Lords.

Although My Knowle West missed out on the top award, we were delighted to make the shortlist and see the app, developed through European partnership project IES Cities, recognised for bringing people together and using digital technologies to encourage positive action.

Find out more about the app here. You can register for a free account on MyKW online, so join the online community and get sharing!

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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