We’re excited that the workshops on the Forge programme are taking place at Creative Works. In this guest blog post, Kate Tattersfield explains how this new co-working space on Blackhorse Lane is welcoming creative businesses and describes how it supports ambitious apprentices.

The opening of Creative Works on Blackhorse Lane aptly coincides with the Waltham Forest Borough of Culture year and is part of the Blackhorse Road Regeneration Zone.
Creative Works opened its doors to creative businesses and apprentices in December 2018 with the aim of providing a place for collaboration, learning, and growth. The property itself – Gnome House – has a history of innovation; it was the birthplace of the Gnome Engine, a pioneering feat of WW1 engineering.
After years of neglect, it’s now home to a community of creative entrepreneurs and apprentices, many of whom are from the local area.
A large open plan co-working space comprised of bench desks, ergonomic furniture, phone booths, and a fully-stocked kitchen can be found on the first floor. The second floor contains private offices, bay areas for small enterprises and glass-fronted meeting rooms.

Developing creative skills in young people
Although the co-working space itself is new, Creative Works’ links with the further education sector make it different from other workspaces. The project was masterminded by Big Creative Education, a further education Academy and Skills Training Provider located just a few metres down the road.
The focus is the community as opposed to profit margins. As a Community Interest Company, any surplus income from membership fees is channeled back into apprenticeships or subsidised rents for local start-ups.
The membership package itself includes a range of benefits: access to events, industry networking sessions and a free breakfast every day, to name but a few. But one of the most exciting benefits has to be the opportunity to work with one of BCE’s apprentices.

Why is Creative Works such a great space to host Forge events?
It’s a brand new, exciting space that works with local suppliers and aims to provide training and opportunities for the local creative community, not just students and apprentices.

Creative Works are running a free desk trial for those interested. If you’re a young person looking for a creative apprenticeship, visit the Big Creative Education website for information on how to apply.