Serious Impact - Update on Craft Central/Allia Partnership

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 13:08
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Allia has announced its collaboration with Craft Central, a 40-year supporter of craft and design. Using the combined expertise of both charitable organisations, the collaboration will widen support for local businesses, traders and craftspeople in East London.

Allia already runs their successful Serious Impact programme from the East London Future Business Centre in Hackney, supporting entrepreneurs to grow their business through workshops, connections and one to one expert support. Working together with Craft Central will bring a new focus on craft and design to the programme, and create wider economic growth and opportunities in the East London area.

The collaboration enables Allia to broaden the reach of their programme to the Docklands as part of a wider scheme to create more opportunities to local people. The Docklands programme will run from Craft Centrals new venue ‘The Forge’, in the Isle of Dogs as a special extension from Allia’s usual Hackney base.

Allia’s Serious Impact programme is exclusive for East London based businesses. Craft Central has long standing foundations in craftsmanship established since 1970; this specialised knowledge will help to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs in craftsmanship and design to access the programme.

Alex Potter, Accelerator Programme manager of Allia’s Serious Impact team in East London says: “The Docklands has a long-standing entrepreneurial history of craft and maker businesses, having been the bustling hub for the world’s largest port and shipping industries. Our work with Craft Central aims to continue and reignite this legacy, bringing the entrepreneurial ecosystem back to under-supported areas of London that have a long history of craft and innovation.”

“It’s exciting” said Paul Donovan-Hart, Craft Central’s Head of Operations. “Working with Allia helps us go one step further for our makers by exposing them to programmes and events that will hopefully help them scale further and faster.”

Sue Webb, Chair of Trustees at Craft Central says: “Craftspeople usually start as one person businesses and are often far too busy making and selling to devote time to the matters that will enable them to expand. Focused business support programmes and mentoring are exactly what they welcome and this programme is devised to provide both.”

The collaboration commences with a kick-off event for the programme on the 4th April -introducing the next cohort of businesses and tradespeople to be accepted on the programme.

Paul Hughes, Director of Enterprise Support at Allia believes the collaboration is a positive step for the local community: “With Allia and Craft Central working alongside one another, this will build valuable connections in the community, and help local entrepreneurs to thrive and invest in the future of East London.”   

For more information and how to apply to Allia’s ‘Grow Your Business’ Programme, visit: or call 020 3011 2410 / 07482 914 676

To find out more about Craft Central, & offerings at The Forge visit or call 07481 594265 / 0207 538 0819

About Allia
Allia is an independent not for profit with a social mission, dedicated to helping impact organisations and initiatives to grow through inspiring workspaces, effective support and innovative social finance.