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Public Projects Ongoing

STEAMhouse Phase 1.5 – Apply Now!

2020 – 2022

STEAMhouse is a space to experiment, test and develop new knowledge. At the project’s heart are five key principles conversation, exploration, collaboration, openness and newness.

Open since early 2018, the first phase of STEAMhouse was powered by Birmingham City University in partnership with Eastside Projects and funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England. It invited original business thinkers to collaborate and innovate, engaging with hundreds of SMEs in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area.

Phase 1.5 launched in April 2020 and is focussed on supporting businesses – which includes self employed, sole trading artists – to access and explore the potential of digital technologies to help develop businesses, artworks, practices and creative services.

Though we are not currently able to access the makerspace workshops, we are running a digital fabrication bureau offering digital fabrication processes like laser cutting, CNC routing and 3D printing and are running a range of online workshops offering business support, software training and technical assistance.

Eastside Projects manages the Open Route which focusses on providing a holistic programme of production, practice and business support for artists and creative makers. For businesses – including people who are self employed – all support, including access to online workshops, 1-2-1 mentoring and technical support is free. Membership lasts 12 months and can be renewed. Workshops to date have included sessions on Applying for Funding, Working Commercially, Working with Digital Fabricators and Writing for Artists alongside regular ‘In Conversations’ with curators and commissioners.

How to Apply:

  • Members are recruited each month.
  • The application deadline is at 3pm on the last day of the month. We aim to contact all applicants within three weeks with a decision.
  • Inevitably our programmes have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, but we are still accepting applications and supporting members through online activity.
  • Find full application details HERE

The Benefits:

Membership lasts 12 months and includes:

  • Free access to a digital fabrication bureau service
  • Hands on workshops which help you develop the knowledge needed to prototype using digital software, hardware and production processes.
  • Free, tailored business support to help you plan and become more sustainable
  • When COVID measures allow – Free access to co-working space and a well-equipped makerspace with facilities for production in print and materials, digital design, digital manufacture, resistant materials (wood, metal, plastics) and virtual/augmented reality.
  • Opportunities to take part in innovation labs, collaborative workshops and networking events.
  • Grants of up to £2500 to support prototyping and IP advice
  • Opportunities to collaborate with University Researchers.


  • You must be registered as self employed or have a registered company
  • We focus on businesses in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area, but can accept applications from any self employed person/business that is registered in England

Find full application details HERE