The Cockpit Effect 2023


Each year we measure our impact to show our community and the wider world how we’re doing. This takes the form of the Cockpit Effect report, which you can read in full here.

Here’s an extract from Annie Warburton, Cockpit CEO:

Right now, it’s tough out there for makers, especially those in the fragile early years of their careers. In Spaces for Growth, the 12th edition of Cockpit’s award-winning impact report, you will discover how they are rising to the challenges of our times with verve and imagination.

We live in extraordinary times: economic upheaval, social fragmentation, health and mental health pandemics, climate crisis and the risk of environmental collapse. In the face of all this, it would be easy to despair. Instead, we must act. It is for each of us to ask how we might use our gifts, resources and skills to respond.

It is my belief that the values inherent in craft offer something important in these testing times. Craft calls our attention back to where things come from: where they are made, what they are made from, how they are made, and who makes them. Craft connects us to ourselves, to each other,
and to the world around us.

As a creative social enterprise, Cockpit’s values are inspired by the maker’s trinity: head, heart and hand. We are kind, curious and bold. Kindness is the foundation, treating each other with care and empathy, recognising we are all connected. Curious, we ask what if? How might we make a better world? Bold, we know it is not enough to care and imagine, we must also take action to make a difference.

As this year’s report shows, despite the turbulent times, Cockpit makers are showing remarkable resilience, supported by David Crump, our Head of Business Incubation and our team, and buoyed by the vibrant community at our studios.

We create spaces for growth, where talented, creative people can grow into their full potential.
It takes time to hone brilliance, many years to become an overnight success. And that time costs, especially in London. The upshot? Creative practice is open only to the already privileged few. Cockpit dissolves those barriers. More than just studios, we bridge the gap between talent and opportunity.

As the only incubator for makers, with an in-house team of specialist coaches, we train makers
to succeed on their own terms, creatively and commercially. Each year we support 40 new makers into practice on funded places. Offering space, equipment and advice that would otherwise be out of reach, these scholarships give new makers the strongest possible footing to go on to future success. In this report, you will read just how we make it happen, and be inspired by the stories and insights of seven talented craftspeople who call Cockpit home.

A voice for making in all its forms, Cockpit stands for the transformative power of craft to shape a better world. Craft brings ideas into reality, transforming raw materials into dazzling creations. We like to think we shape things for the better in just the same way: with skill, care and imagination. Call it the human touch.

We cannot do all this alone. I extend heartfelt thanks to all those who make our mission possible: our funders, donors and individual supporters, our myriad partners who are all so inspiring to work with, Cockpit’s talented and dedicated staff team, and our Trustees who give their time, energy and enthusiasm so generously.

Thank you all. Together, we are making a better world.

Annie Warburton

Chief Executive