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Legal Structure

Summary: Makespace will be a registered Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG)

We need an underlying legal structure to rent a space, have a bank account, own assets, worry about insurance and liability etc. At the same time, we want to align it with our not-for-profit goals, minimise legal overhead as much as possible, and let us do the things we need to.

After a number of community and advisor meetings, the following is the proposed underlying legal structure/process for Makespace:

  • Makespace (Cambridge) Ltd. will be setup as a Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Simon and Jonny will be registered as legal Directors of the CLG
  • Legal Directors will be added/replaced over time, but the number will be kept small i.e. 2-4 Directors; these are the people legally tied to the activities of Makespace
  • Setup a bank account for the CLG; this allows us to accept the bootstrap funding, and will be the account used for all incomings/outgoings
  • Start the process to apply for charitable status, with full research to understand constraints/benefits; Assumption is it is something we would benefit from, but need to confirm interaction with e.g. member commercial activities
  • If Charitable Status is achieved, create a Board of Trustees (made up of Directors and/or external people)


  • CICs were established as a way to make a social enterprise investable; Grant-giving bodies don't really respond better to CICs - i.e. we don't want to be a CIC
  • A CLG by nature has some asset locking behaviour as it doesn't have or pay shareholders
  • A CLG can be given charitable status after being set up - i.e. we don't have to be one from the outset, it is easy (normal) to add it
  • It can take quite some time to be processed by the Charity Commission and be granted charitable status.
  • A charity will be subject to considerable controls, as the Charity Commission imposes complex trading and financial rules on charities - i.e. need to be careful it aligns with all our plans

General Structure

Summary: Makespace will be run by an Executive Committee, guided by an Advisory Committee

An Executive Committee of 6-10, including the legal Directors, are the main group who worry about running Makespace.

An Advisory Committee of respected mentors and sponsors can guide these decisions, open doors and generally help with advice and wisdom to ensure Makespace is a success.

Members are anyone paying membership.

The Executive Committee and Advisory Committee are not actually tied to the legal structure, and ultimately power to block/etc is with the Directors. We assume that the Executive Committee works and therefore is really what "runs" it day to day, and if it isn't then it is up to the Directors to sort out the mess.

Bank Account

We plan to setup a bank account with Co-op Bank, based on their support for not-for-profit entities.

Need to ensure we get:

  • Free banking
  • Credit Card
  • Online banking

Makespace and FabLab

Summary: Makespace will contain a FabLab

Makespace has a lot in common with the goals of a "FabLab", and we have considered being a FabLab. What does that mean? Well, a FabLab is characterised as a lab with a specified set of prototyping equipment and adherence to the FabLab charter. It is becoming more formal through the FabLab Foundation as the concept grows in popularity across the world.

However, we have some motives beyond that of a FabLab, whilst potentially also not being able to meet the requirements of a FabLab immediately. We also don't want to misuse the FabLab brand.

A model that seems perfect is therefore to aspire to have a FabLab inside Makespace. The main benefits are:

  • Makespace can have objectives not related or beyond a FabLab, be it social aspects or whatever
  • We do not have to have a FabLab from the start; we can aim to build one, and register with the FabLab Foundation when we achieve it
  • We can easily treat the FabLab area of Makespace different to e.g. the training area; this may be useful for access control given the different skills/costs involved

Some useful links:


  • How we structure guest access (acceptable behaviour in bringing friends etc along)
  • Is there (cheap) membership to a society, separate from subscription to use of facilities

First Aid

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 set out first-aid provision in the work place, and require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and qualified first-aid personnel.

Each employer is expected to have:

  • completed a first-aid needs assessment (there is no prescribed format for this and it can be informal).
  • ensured that there is either an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements or, if necessary, there are appropriate numbers of suitably trained first-aiders.
  • ensured there are adequate facilities and a suitable stocked first-aid box.
  • provided all employees and guests with information about the first-aid arrangements. For guests this can be met by simple signage or an induction step.

For the purpose of the evaluation, three types of user were considered:

  • Makespace employees. These are the three founder directors: Laura James, Simon Ford, and Jonathan Austin.
  • Makespace clients who pay a monthly fee for access to the space. These are members of the public, but they will have had a formal induction process that includes health and safety, personal responsibility, obligation to avoid operating equipment in an unsafe manner, and first aid.
  • Members of the public who are visiting Makespace. Examples where the public might be on the site are open days, joint activities with schools or other groups, or Makespace run training courses.
  • If Makespace members and guests are to be treated as employees and the total number of such is between 150 and 200, Makespace should consider having four people trained to FAW (the longer course) or more if these four are not likely to be available when the space is full. Note that this matches the recommended level, but there is not a mandatory requirement to follow the recommendation. If there is a departure however, Makespace should clearly state why it is departing from the recommendation and make it clear to users of the space that there is no formal first aid staff.

The assessment requirements for Makespace used the guidelines provided by at which indicated that:

  • Makespace has fewer than five employees, so at least one appointed person is required. Makespace will also investigate providing qualified first aiders in addition to this minimum requirement.
  • There no dangerous chemicals or confined spaces for working. All flammable or irritating chemicals will be properly stored.
  • Makespace must ensure that, to the extent possible, any possible injuries or illnesses can be dealt with by the personnel provided. There will be many situations however when non-employees will be responsible for their own first aid provision. Makespace will ensure that all persons entering the site are aware of first aid kits and the absence of trained first aid providers.
  • There are no inexperienced employees, but there will be inexperienced members of the public or Makespace clients on the site. All visitors to the site will be have a presentation on health and safety and first aid. Visitors and clients will give an assurance to Makespace that they will not operate any equipment that they have not been trained to use.
  • The Makespace premises will frequently have clients to use the space and will be working alone or unsupervised. First aid kits will be provided at several locations so that they can be reached quickly. People working alone are strongly advised to have their own mobile phone so that they can call for assistance.
  • First aid kits will be stocked and available at all hours.
  • Members of public will visit the premises, but while Makespace has no legal duty to provide first aid for non-employees, but Makespace will include them in its first-aid provision.
  • All employees and regular guests will be informed of the location of first aid stations and their own requirements to act safely when they are first given access to the space. In addition to the initial briefing, there will be posters and prominent signage indicating where the first aid kits.
  • Although there is no formal requirement to record all accidents, Makespace will provide a record book to record incidents that happen to employees, clients, or guests. This information will be used to identify any changes required to the safety policy and any additional required training.

Appointed person: When an employer's first-aid needs assessment identifies that a first-aider is not necessary, the minimum requirement is to appoint a person to take charge of first-aid arrangements. The role of this appointed person includes looking after the first-aid equipment and facilities and calling the emergency services when required.

To fulfil their role, appointed persons do not need first-aid training. However, emergency first-aid training courses are available. Appointed persons are not first-aiders and should not attempt to give first aid for which they have not been trained.

See FirstAidPolicy for details.

The HSE guideline booklet is in the files section. File:HSE guideline.pdf