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The main agenda items for this budget themed meeting were:

  • A high level financial/cashflow overview
  • A detailed look through a draft budget
  • Discussion of particular equipment/furniture, especially CNC Mill and omissions
  • Kitchen plans

High level financial and cashflow overview

Simon gave a high level overview of the current financials and underlying plans/models, summarised here:

Basic model reminder:

  • CAPEX to be covered by our Grant and Founder Sponsorship
  • OPEX to be covered by monthly Membership Fees (to ensure we are sustainable)

A summary of the financial position:


  • Our bootstrap grant is £40k
    • £25k has been invoiced and received so far (based on meeting 3 of the 5 milestones so far)
  • Our target for Founder Sponsorship is £80k
    • We are approaching companies now
    • We have successfully secured and invoiced £20k so far (but not yet received)
  • Founder Membership has generated approximately £12k of additional cash on hand (THANKS FOUNDERS!)
    • It will be allocated to OPEX in the long run, but for now this is providing short-term cashflow for our CAPEX
  • There is also a £10k interest free loan from the directors on account, assisting further with cashflow


  • Initial bootstrap and base infrastructure cost approximately £30k
    • RFID Access, Fire Detection, Legal, Insurance, Electrical, Painting, Household
  • A further £20k is allocated for initial kitout
    • Key equipment (e.g. laser), storage, furniture and kitchen to prepare to open

Budget and Equipment Discussion

We went through a collated spreadsheet of all the equipment that had been mentioned for makespace, with the main objective to confirm or adjust approximate costs and to add missing items. A good number of items were added and some costs adjusted, but the primary discussions were around the specifics of equipment requirements and implications of having them in the space.

Particular topics:

CNC was discussed for a while, looking at different needs but no final conclusions. Joe to lead the discussions further.

Machines will require tooling and materials, how should this be delt with?

For some machines (e.g. mill), tooling can be fairly expensive and is likely to be broken by beginners. The feeling was it'd be nice and somewhat expected that you'd be able to use machines as a member without paying "extras", and accept that beginners need to learn. This pointed to makespace buying the tooling and keeping spares in stock, and it be considered part of the OPEX of the machines. However, given the cost of breakages, this is probably balanced with some sort of "toolbox", equivalent to an honesty box for people who make the same mistake twice. Whilst some people will use some tools more than others, and some breakages are more expensive than others, it was still seem this was inline with the makespace approach of fixed membership rather than pay-as-you-go.

It was expected that if people wanted expensive/carefully managed or specialist tooling or were doing heavy work, it'd be natural that they supplied/owned it themselves.

Materials however were seen to be something that people should naturally provide themselves. A natural option seemed to be that makespace kept stock of common materials, with a similar honesty box or payment scheme. Given makespace could buy in bulk, any discount (and even a small premium) could be kept to help toward machine OPEX. Details TBC.

We discussed furniture and storage, and general consensus was that it was important to get this right and ensure we allocate enough to this before opening to ensure the right facilities, expectations and behaviours are in place early.

General consensus on the importance of the kitchen and it should go ahead. Dan to lead a proposal to be approved and installed. For drainage plumbing, it was decided to go ahead and fit ourselves.

We should consider needs of other groups (arts etc). John to investigate.

Electronics setup needs looking at, in particular furniture and power supply. Michael to investigate.

First aid training for group of founders was deemed to be a good idea; Nick to get a quote for someone coming in to group teach.

It was decided that making the financials fairly public would be the preferred approach, but at a fairly high level was ok - it was deemed important that members got a real feel for the level of investment it takes to pull off something like makespace! Simon to work on right level to share information.