Introducing Future Makers: Waste Plastic Studio

Future Makers announce new Waste Plastic Studio, following Near Now Fellowship support.

Posted on 5th October 2023

Written by Hope Cook

We’re proud to announce that Future Makers has secured substantial funding from both Arts Council England and Innovate UK for their new Waste Plastic Studio facility.

Future Makers’ mission is to transform waste plastic into art, innovation and opportunity. The Waste Plastic Studio will redefine how we perceive and use recycled plastic as a valuable resource for creativity and sustainability. This initiative brings together artists, designers, makers, businesses, schools and residents to explore the potential of recycled plastic through educational workshops, immersive programmes and community engagement.

What are the Studio’s aims?

In a previous story we announced our partnership with Future Makers as co-producers of our 2022-2023 Near Now Fellowship. Together, we supported artist Katharina Fitz through a period of research and development to test the use of waste plastic as a material for artistic fabrication.

An ongoing aim of this collaborative partnership has been to build a waste plastic repurposing studio centred around creating new ways for artists, crafters, makers and innovators to engage with recycled plastic and explore its abilities as a sustainable material for product design and artistic fabrication.

Broadway has an ambitious environmental policy and action plan in order to reduce our impact on the environment. Through our Arts Council England-supported activity, Broadway’s Near Now is partnering with positive initiatives that are striving for environmental change.

Future Makers founder Tristan Hessing emphasises, “We're rewriting the story of plastic waste, turning it into a resource for innovation in art and design”.

Lee Nicholls, Creative Producer of Near Now, states, “Our aim is to pilot professional and artistic development opportunities for artists/makers to engage with recycled plastic and explore its usefulness as a fabrication material.”

Our hope is that this project will drive a wider conversation about how approaches to recycling can be improved on a local and global scale, and inspire visitors to Broadway to look into the plastic they use and throw away.

Sheet material example of HDPE plastic diverted from landfill

Sheet material example of HDPE plastic diverted from landfill

How is the project moving forward?

Since this announcement Future Makers has started to move forward on creating a space for innovative experimentation in the sustainable reuse of waste materials.

Future Makers proudly partners with CR Clarke & Co and Sustainable Design Studio, manufacturers of thermoforming and plastic fabrication equipment, to introduce advanced moulding and plastic processing technologies to form a hub in their building at the Trent Basin area just outside of Nottingham’s city centre.

The Waste Plastic Studio will showcase the coexistence of creativity and sustainability, whilst Broadway’s Near Now will continue its collaboration by establishing a city centre plastic collection campaign.

This new hub will give Nottingham's creative community two things: easy access to recycled plastic for use as a material, and a place to learn about the nuance of plastic, how it's made and what happens to it when we finish using it, to help change our relationship with it.

Supported by Arts Council England, Innovate UK, Broadway’s Near Now, and Blueprint Regeneration.

What are the future plans for the project?

Future Makers aims to engage schools through a partnership with Greenwood Academies Trust. This initiative will provide students and educators with hands-on experiences and educational opportunities in sustainability and recycling, inspiring the next generation.

Samantha Veal, Chief Executive of Blueprint Regeneration Ltd, adds, “Future Makers: Waste Plastic Studio will enrich the local community with skills and education, inspiring creative and effective reuse of materials.”

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Want to know more?

Find out more about this project and upcoming opportunities on our Stories page or by signing up to Broadway's email newsletter. Follow the bigger vision for the plastic repurposing studio at Future Makers.

Read Broadway’s Environmental Policy and Action Plan, and find out more about our mission as a cultural leader for independent cinema, arts and technology in the Midlands.


Hope Cook