Some really encouraging progress in the last couple of weeks! Read on for the full update. Also, if you’re reading this on the web, you’ll be looking at our newly launched blog, part of the new site. Thanks to all the WordPress experts who have got this up and running for us!

I’ve met with the University Security office, who are being very accommodating – we should be able to fit an access control system which forms a subsystem of the University’s, whilst still retaining control over who can get in and out (so we can manage our own members database). This should help keep costs down as some of the equipment will probably be paid for by the university (for instance, the card reader on the exterior front door, which will be shared wth other University people). It also means that hookups into the fire escape systems should be straightforward.Yay!  I’m waiting on detailed quotes for this work now.

We’ll probably be installing our own intruder alarm, though. This is a requirement for insurance. Rather than installing a BT line for callouts to our keyholders, though, we will (fingers crossed) be able to use the University’s RedCare system, so the Security Office will call us out instead. Again, this is probably a cheaper option for us, but I’ll be getting new quotes to make sure.

The best news was that the wicket and main gates from the car park on the Eastern side of our space are open 24/7. This had been a big worry – if they were locked, that fire route wouldn’t work (or we’d’ve been limited to office hours opening only). As they are open, we have two fire exits and the internal space routing is fine with suitable travel distances. Phew!  I also did a walkthrough of the space to look in detail at what fire detection, bells and emergency lighting needs fitting. We’re lucky – there are lots of working emergency lights already and we only need a handful of new ones.  There will be new fire detection fitted in the workshops and cafe area – mostly for property protection in case something smoulders after hours. The University has also prepared a revised floorplan which actually shows the right doors, windows etc 🙂  This is very helpful, but does mean I need to rewrite the list of works we’re going to do to refer to new numberings!

I’ve also met with our new accountants; we’re going to be registering for VAT now, and looking into whether we can count our last year as a dormant one. (It’s hard to believe it’s a year since we set up the business and the bank account!).

In other professional services news, I met with Taylor Vintners who are going to be providing legal support to Makespace. We worked on the concepts our membership agreement will need to cover, and also talked about online web and data security policies.  We’ll shortly be sharing a doc where we can all collaboratively collect ideas for “fair practice” rules around the space – mostly so we avoid missing any important areas where we’d like to have an understanding of polite sharing around.  Also, unless we shell out, we won’t have a licence for playing music or TV in the space. If this is something you’d value, let me know – maybe we could fund a music licence through crowdfunding if lots of people want one!

Finally, today I met with a friendly representative of the University Computing Service, to talk about whether there’s any chance we might be able to use the network cables&ports that already exist in the space… more news soon, I hope!

There’s a bit more happening on the wiki now too so you might want to have a look over there…


Space update

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