Hitchin Hackspace are flushed with success after NHDC grants £5000 for new headquarters
An innovative community organisation that gives local people access to futuristic creative technologies and crafts, has received a £5000 grant from North Hertfordshire District Council’s (NHDC) Hitchin Area Committee last week (5 December).
Hitchin Hackspace, currently based at a hut in Ransoms Recreation Ground, will use the grant to renovate a disused toilet block at Bancroft Recreation Ground and turn it into their new headquarters.
The group aims to stimulate local interest in science, technology, engineering and maths within the North Hertfordshire community. They provide access to tools and knowledge that would otherwise be unavailable and invest in equipment such as laser cutters and 3D printers, which are often beyond the budget of individuals. The group also get involved in outreach work with local schools and youth groups.
Renovation and refurbishment of the old toilet block will take between three – six months to complete and is expected to start in January 2018. The majority of the work will be carried out by volunteers, with specialist contractors undertaking electrical and plumbing work. It is estimated that the renovation will cost in the region of £9500 and funding has also been secured from the locality budget of Hertfordshire County Councillor Judi Billing and from Aviva Insurance. Hitchin Hackspace has signed a 5 year lease with NHDC to operate from the former toilet block.
Cllr Nicola Harris, NHDC Chairman of Hitchin Area Committee said: "The new headquarters at Bancroft will bring Hitchin Hackspace into the heart of the town and create a new vibrant community hub."
"By centralising their headquarters and providing a modernised space in which to meet, it will encourage more local residents to join in and discover the wonders of modern technology and all that it has to offer."
Richard Cowley, Director of Hitchin Hackspace said: "'The grant from NHDC will help us transform a disused and decaying building in a prominent position in Hitchin into a fully equipped workshop. The funding will greatly speed up the renovation, allowing us to open the facility to the wider community sooner than originally planned. We would like to thank NHDC for the award of this grant and look forward to welcoming makers in North Hertfordshire to Hitchin Hackspace."
You can find out more about Hitchin Hackspace on their website: http://hackhitchin.org.uk/