Tuesday 7th July 19:30 | Online meeting to share ideas and experience for post-lockdown reopening


Dermot here from South London Makerspace

Further to recent posts on the HSF Telegram channel we’re offering to hold an online meetup this Tuesday – an hour and a half get-together to check-in and see how we can support each other. This is not an official HSF meeting, but something a few members expressed and interest in that might prove useful

Draft agenda please read and add thoughts below

Assign roles: note taker, time keeper, chair (I’m happy to chair – Dermot)


We’re a distinct group of (mostly?) volunteer-run creative spaces, while we have our brilliant uniquenesses we have much in common. Reopening during the COVID pandemic presents many challenges on our resources

Purpose of meeting:

Share experience, ideas and best practice to help ease the pressure on individual spaces…and possibly generate feedback for the Scottish government guidance (see below)

Where we’re at and what are our key concerns?

A 30-second each introduction – moved to chat box if high attendance numbers: who are you, and what are your two main concerns around reopening?

Shared experience
Be good to have several testimonies from a few spaces that feel ahead of the game: (some open, some about to open) to give as an overview (5 minutes each)

What resources could/should we pool? discussion

Suggestions from attendees

How to share best practice discoveries - discussion

In recognition of the developing situation and ever changing guidance, how do we efficiently respond and share information between us?

Feedback to Scottish Govt - discussion

The team drawing up their guidance for the creative industries are meeting this week and HSF member Tim will be attending – is Tim Kirby in this group?

What do we want government, local authorities and other official bodies to understand about us? The official Scottish guidance stresses the high workload and review process required for reopening, do we present a case for extra support, or more detailed guidance?

Next steps

What next, if anything

Round up of action points

Action points…rounded up

Leave meeting

If you’re in a residential area please respect your neighbours…

Let me know below if you can make and start the discussion it by posting below

If you have a COVID-reopening plan to share please do, with a link if appropriate

Any suggestions for what we can usefully discuss gratefully received: this is just a few things straight off the top of my head…

I’ll post a meeting link nearer the time


Sounds good! This is what we’re starting with: https://forum.swindon-makerspace.org/t/reopening-the-space-july-4th-midday/284



This has to be one of the best agendas I have seen in a while. Thank you for organising.

I will start with some spoilers.

Under Key concerns:

  • Small spaces Vs large spaces.
  • Modifying booking systems for areas rather equipment.
  • Existing buddy systems Vs social distancing
  • Phased reopening, who will be the first exceptions allowed in?
  • Removing bias from exceptions.
  • Any financial help.
  • Maintaining or improving the sense of community and sustainability. BLM.

Best practice discovery:

  • Scottish guidance for studios.
  • Food.gov.uk food safety supervisor training: clean as you go, cross contamination, wash your hands even if you have gloves on, and so forth.
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Brilliant, thank you!

NottingHack have also shared their guidance:


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To give some background on me, I’m involved with the Edinburgh Hacklab and also run a consultancy specialising in Systems Engineering and Systems Thinking. I reached out to the Scottish government when they published their feedback to ask if we can contribute. Next version goes out in 2-3 weeks so this week is ideal for getting any considerations in there.

Thoughts from me so far

  • General maintenance. Many spaces have workshop type environments such as uneven and crumbly floors which are harder to keep clean. We’ve just replaced the flooring in our main room as it was getting in a really bad state
  • People are really bad at cleaning up and creating mess - cant really be leaving half finished projects or work in progress so easily
  • Hard to disinfect workshop spaces. Dust is a big problem as organic material tends to use available chlorine in disinfectants. That may mean better dust extraction, vacuuming etc needed
  • Cleaning products need to be safe to use on equipment. For instance bleach based cleaners can degrade metals in a workshop
  • Unlike many artists studios, we tend not to have bays for specific tasks (e.g. a screen printing machine) but much more general purpose space and shared tools. It makes it hard to risk assess each potential activity as seems to be required by law - how do we make these generic? Likewise should we put together tool kits rather than a tool wall for instance making cleaning easier
  • How do we manage lone working - e.g. big workshop tools generally recommended two people being in the space for safety?
  • How do we manage training?
  • Where do we fit between science lab, manufacturing facility and creative space? Different guidance for each.
  • How do we balance member use and reopening facilities for the public who need them? How do we supervise the public appropriately? E.g. the workshop may have space for two people but that means if a member of the public is using then we deny two competent members access while someone supervises.
  • How do we manage social activities? Luckily we have a pub on site with outdoor seating that may help
  • Relationship with landlords. Many risks outside our control - how to we cooperate
  • Do we need to revisit insurance?
  • PPE provision - e.g. glasses, hearing protectors. This is often shared but how do we manage individual use and financial concerns around bring your own
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At Brighton, we opened on 15 June for one household at a time. Special rules apply (abbreviated):

  • The Space will be ONLY open for single-household use only at a time.
  • Book in advance - system leaves a buffer / dead period of 3 hours between each use.
  • Users must take Before & after pictures of workspaces etc & post with Arival and Exit time to Slack
  • Use with a non-member for safety reasons etc is fine as long as they share a household
  • You will be able to book one 4 hour slot per 7 days or more at short notice
  • You must wash hands for 20 seconds before and after each activity.
  • Wipe down each surface before you touch it and also afterwards,
  • Wear cloth (or other suitable) masks to cover nose and mouth to restrict virus spread.
  • If YOU have been in contact with COVID-19, do not use space for a period of 14 days.
  • Members using the space must leave tidy & remove rubbish to the bins at the front yard.
    Our space has poor ventilation - hence the buffer period.
    No open evenings, no new member visits or inductions at present. Not gaining new members will eventually lead to financial problems as members leave - so far few have left but this is a concern.
    We may allow one-per-room soon - we have an online meeting this evening to work out a way forward.

Swansea is currently working on the basis of one member at a time in the space, although the directors have had discussions about how to split our space up into zones for multiple individuals if a) demand increases and b) it seems reasonable in line with the advice from Welsh Government.

We have a public set of information and FAQs at https://swansea.hackspace.org.uk/Meetings/COVID-19
When we’re confirming bookings with members they are then being emailed more explicit instructions about not attending if symptomatic/living with someone who is symptomatic, the need to clean the space after use etc.


This is tonight folks!

Will post the Zoom link soon – as this is a public forum it would be great to have an idea if you’re coming…so we can recognise you on the door and let you in…

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Dermot Jones is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Reopening during a pandemic
Time: Jul 7, 2020 07:30 PM London

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Meeting ID: 941 7800 1716
Password: 337502
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Hello from Farset Labs in Belfast!

How we are handling lockdown and reopening

Our actions are guided by the Northern Ireland Executive guidance, and initially announcements from the Prime Minister. Here’s the timeline:

  • Created guidance for using the space prior to lockdown on 17th of March
  • Closed our doors on 23rd of March
  • Created a phased reopening plan based on Northern Ireland Execurite guidance on 20th of May
  • Created COVID-19 onboarding for members on 18th of June
  • Opened our doors to members that complete COVID-19 onboarding on 24th of June

Currently, we maintain a one-stop-shop page of information for members, visitors and events at https://www.farsetlabs.org.uk/coronavirus, it’s been getting great feedback from members.

Stuff that we did

  • Moved all hackerspace meetings (eg: town halls) online.
  • Started doing video-call onboarding for members, which I prefer to asking people to tick a box saying they definitely read something.
  • Bough masks, gloves and hand sanitiser that’s available free of charge.
  • Created room capacity posters to help people maintain a spacious environment, probably with too much space at the moment.
  • Phased reopening based on members, visitors and public events.


At the moment we’re seeing about 5 people use the space daily in our 2 floor building.

Over the months leading up to the lockdown we got a pretty good awareness of how many people are using the space, which was quite useful when we put together plans for reopening.

In 2019 we were downsized to a much smaller than usual building while our main building was being renovated so the active members were few when we got back into a brand new 2 floor building. Because of this, we gauged that having people reserve the space would be unnecessary, since we expect low numbers for the space. It was a big help for simpler reopening plans.

Re government details on collecting track+trace data - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace#information-to-collect is voluntary

Thanks to all who came along from far and wide – it was a very enlightening evening, and there’s a tonne of shared space here for us to collaborate in