Stepping up with Carréducker and Cockpit Arts

Cockpit Arts is an award winning social enterprise and the UK’s only business incubator for craftspeople.

WardWilliams Creative are proud to be champions of the inspiring and award winning social enterprise, Cockpit Arts. The UK’s only business incubator for craftspeople, Cockpit Arts house up to 170 small businesses at two centres in Central and South London. They support craft practitioners at the start of their careers, as well as those who are more established, to grow and build successful and thriving businesses both in the UK and internationally.

[greybg] [/greybg]

Business Incubation Services

Since opening in 1986, Cockpit Arts has helped thousands of talented makers grow their businesses, many of whom have gone on to achieve national and international success. Their business incubator model is proven to work.  Impact reports are positive, showing higher than average economic outcomes as well as social and cultural impact.


Darren Appiagyei – Woodturner


Cockpit Arts business incubation services comprise of workspace, on site business coaching and business support workshops, selling and promotional opportunities, as well as referral to specialist advisors and access to finance.

Workshops and Consultancy

Cockpit Arts work with hundreds of other craft businesses based in other parts of the UK and overseas through their training workshops and consultancy arm, as well as remotely via online resources.  They also offer training and support for makers who do not have a studio at Cockpit but want to learn from their approach.  Cockpit Arts currently work with 27 makers who are based in London and participate in their London Creative Network programme. There is a current list of participants here.

Social Enterprise committed to supporting Craftspeople

As a Social Enterprise, Cockpit Arts’ services and studio spaces are offered to craftspeople at affordable rates. Any profit made is reinvested to support those most in need. They offer special Awards and Bursaries to early stage craft businesses. Cockpit Arts also delivers a unique Creative Careers Programme to provide opportunities for young people referred by The Prince’s Trust. In addition, their Creative Employment Programme generates wider craft employment opportunities in the craft sector through our Traineeships and Apprenticeships Programme.


Leah Jensen – Ceramics


WardWilliams Creative and Cockpit Arts

As a champion of Cockpit Arts, WardWilliams Creative founder, Erin, offers support for individuals and businesses from the very start of an idea, to gaining investment for growth and possible sale. She has helped a variety of makers at Cockpit Arts to gain funding via specialist advice around Creative tax reliefs, R&D claims, Patent box and investment planning.  If you’re a maker looking to move on tot he next level contact Erin about support both WardWillaims Creative and Cockpit Arts can offer.

Carréducker Opens New Shoe Making School

[greybg] [/greybg]

Amongst the many talented makers within Cockpit Arts is Carréducker, specialist bespoke shoemakers. Going from strength to strength, Carréducker have now opened a new shoe making school in Shoreditch.

The Carréducker Shoe Making School offers the rare opportunity, for complete beginners and those with some shoe making experience, to learn the specialist skills of English shoe making.  This includes aspects of footwear design and pattern cutting, techniques to click (cut out) and close (stitch) footwear uppers; and hand sewn English welted shoemaking.  All taught in a creative environment by master craftsmen and industry experts.

[greybg] [/greybg]

Since they founded their Shoe Making School in 2006, they have taught people from across the globe and realised that the courses aren’t just about making a pair of shoes! Learning new skills and challenging yourself can lead to all sorts of changes. Their courses give students new-found confidence,  fanned an enthusiasm for making, and in some cases have been the catalyst for new careers.  At the very least, attending one of their classes will give you an appreciation for craftsmanship and the opportunity to do something new.  They also offer course in key fob making and other leather products.

Some comments from Shoemaking School alumni:

“…it was an eye opening experience for me. Definitely interesting to see how much work goes into a pair of handmade shoes and I’m going to treat shoes and shoemakers with newfound respect from now on”.
“I really enjoyed the course. It has been a great experience going through the different steps and to end up with a pair of shoes made entirely with my hands. It is really amazing!!”
“Wonderful would be the first comment that springs to mind. Certainly felt a little deflated when…I had to go back to my…normal life”.
“Thank you both for your patience and positivity throughout. I enjoyed it immensely. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and may have altered my life’s trajectory”.
Courses are available in London and New York, see below for details.

Share this post

Get the latest accountancy news for the creative industry

Popular articles