KWMC: The Factory has been recognised for its contribution to training and manufacturing in Bristol, in an awards ceremony celebrating young craftsmen and women at the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House.
The Guild of Guardians presented its prestigious Alfred Telling Award to our new digital manufacturing enterprise on Thursday 15th October 2015. The annual award provides a bursary of £1,500 for an entrepreneur starting their own business in a manual trade in the Bristol area.
KWMC: The Factory was nominated by BRAVE, a not-for-profit business support organisation that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs start and run successful ventures.
Located in Knowle West, an area where satisfaction with local jobs is very low – just 12% in the last Bristol City Council Quality of Life survey (2013) – KWMC: The Factory aims to bring together artists, makers and local people and open up access to digital manufacturing technologies, such as CNC machines and laser cutters.
From two units at the new Filwood Green Business Park, KWMC: The Factory manufactures a range of products from recycled and sustainable materials and provides in-demand skills training for volunteers, businesses and schools. It also connect with other creative centres in the city, such as Pervasive Media Studio, to assist in the prototyping and development of new products.
The enterprise developed out of a pilot scheme run by KWMC and local charity re:work from the empty Eagle House Youth Centre in Knowle West. Between October 2014 and May 2015 their ‘pop up’ enterprise produced nearly 500 pieces of furniture to kit out Filwood Green Business Park, in a commission from building contractors MIDAS and Bristol City Council.
This summer KWMC moved manufacturing activity into Filwood Green Business Park and KWMC: The Factory was born. To date, they have provided 40 people with training in using digital manufacturing equipment.
Liz Sands, Director of BRAVE, said: “We are delighted to have nominated KWMC: The Factory for this prestigious award. It’s a very deserving winner and we have followed its development closely from the beginning. We hope this award helps to raise the profile of KWMC: The Factory and its cutting-edge digital manufacturing techniques and training.”
Justin Ricks, our Business Development Manager, commented: “We’re delighted to receive the Alfred Telling Award for our inclusive and environmentally friendly approach to manufacturing. Digital fabrication is fundamentally changing the way people make things – and we want to ensure that these technologies are available to the many, not just the few, and that they can be utilised to make things that are sustainable, attractive and innovative. The award from the Guild of Guardians will enable us to purchase more equipment for use by volunteer groups who come to us for training.”
For information about KWMC: The Factory please contact Justin on 0117 903 0444.