Black Country Make: Building a digital factory on a 1960s estate


On the next two pages are some of our plans:

A Community Civic Enterprise Zone: Phase 1

We’ve already made an early start by adapting the empty shops in the precinct on the estate to accommodate YamYam, The Foundry and eventually the Digitool Shed! Wolverhampton Council let us use it for £12 per year rent and £550 per month running costs. That’s value for money.

The Co-op Factory: Tackling the housing problem by building our own!

We can access the disused under-croft car park from the basement of our shops on the precinct and it’s our intention to use this as a safe secure dry place to accommodate our Digi-tool Shed and to prototype our work. We want to tackle homelessness and young people at risk.

Due to how housing, benefits and paths to work fail us, and the fact that many of us can’t live at home, we are left with the choice of hostels or friends sofas to sleep on, leaving us vulnerable to seek money from alternative ‘street’ operators so we can afford to exist.

‘We have an award-winning 1960s estate now

condemned as a socially engineered concept gone wrong’

We want to convert disused buildings and spaces into accommodation to live and work, providing a safe haven for young people while providing skills for work, directly bringing support to where it’s needed most. Learning the design and build skills needed to fit out these under-used spaces on the estate brings a much needed foundation for young people to change their life chances. The cost of each unit is £9,500 and takes three people one week to fabricate the components and 10 days to convert the frame into a living space and workshop for training.

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