A new community workspace and venue opens in Frome.
The Welsh Mill Hub is based five minutes’ walk from the town centre along the river Frome. The community workspace and venue offers shared office and workshop space, meeting and event space for up to 100 people and simple food.
The idea of the Welsh Mill Hub is to bring people together from different backgrounds in Frome, to share skills, work together and access affordable and versatile workspace. It is already used by a very diverse group of people, including entrepreneurs and artisans, young people and established professionals, community groups and freelancers.
The way the Welsh Mill Hub was set up is unique in the UK. It was set up by Edventure Frome’s apprentices, who had the opportunity to start-up this satellite enterprise. Edventure Frome is a company providing independent training in social entrepreneurship and supporting young adults to start up their own projects, businesses or self-employment.
Neil Oliver, one of the Directors of Edventure Frome said: “We set our 7 apprentices the challenge to create a community space that would be financially sustainable, help young adults make their ideas happen, and be part of creating an inspiring and resilient town. We gave them 6 weeks, £500, mentoring and an empty 2000 square feet space to make it happen.”
The group of apprentices started the challenge by consulting with people in Frome and developing a business model. They had to do market research, come up with a name and develop the brand. They then renovated the old industrial space, which had previously been used by an engineering company. During the build, mainly recycled and gifted materials were used, and over 20 volunteers from the local community helped with the project. The group of 18 – 30 year old apprentices built partition walls using offcuts from a local saw-mill, desks out of old, industrial workbenches, a coffee table out of an old fan, and room dividers out of pallets. The Frome based charity ADD donated office chairs and plants, and Richard Wallace, a local carpenter built a beautiful door out of waste wood from a skip.
Meki Nattero, another Director of Edventure Frome, said: “It was amazing to see how much the community got involved in creating The Welsh Mill Hub and how much our apprentices learned from the experience of setting it up”.
The Welsh Mill Hub is a social enterprise itself. All profits generated through hiring out work, event and meeting space is used to support unemployed, young adults. Young adults can use the work-space without paying, and Edventure is offering support and mentoring for starting up projects, businesses or self-employment. The Welsh Mill Hub is also giving employment to young adults in Frome. Brett, an 18 year old who had been unemployed since leaving college last year, just started as the resident cook at The Welsh Mill.
Anyone who is interested in hiring event and meeting space, or shared office and workshop space, contact Johannes Moeller on 07706761622 or email [email protected].