How hiring a room or lunching at The Goldsmiths’ Centre can help.
I remember writing about the Goldsmiths’ Centre years ago, when it was little more than a computer-generated vision of what a building might look like. So to walk through the doors of the now fully functioning space was a special moment.
The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London is truly awe inspiring. Not only is it architecturally stunning – and it is – the concept of the centre is fascinating.
It pitches established jewellery companies alongside postgrads just starting out and apprentices making their first steps towards the trade. While this makes for a nice mix of people hanging out at The Bench cafe – its in-house coffee shop, which is open to the public – it goes deeper than this with a clause in the lease that encourages an open-door policy to ensure that the experienced teach the novices, and the new talent inspires the old guard.
The Goldsmiths’ Centre is a model for the future – hence its inclusion in our Future Issue – as it works on a vision of cohesion that supports all.
The centre has been pricey to set up, and to facilitate it, and the free apprenticeship places and post-grad workshops that it offers, director Peter Taylor has set up a charity to run it.
This charity – including the money for the £17.5 million building work – is supported by its founder The Goldsmiths’ Company, but we can all help to support this incredible facility, and so the education of new jewellers.
As well as business premises and educational facilities The Goldsmiths’ Centre has some high-tech, eco-friendly spaces available for hire. These can be used for exhibitions, meetings, parties or even lunches – one of the rooms on the roof has a spectacular bio-diversity roof garden and outdoor terrace – and when booked, 100% of the price of hiring these spaces goes back into the charity.
If you are not in a position to hire space in London then why not pop into The Bench for a coffee or lunch? As well as getting the chance to scope out this inspiring jewellery building, a percentage of your purchase will go to the charity.
With so much talk these days of inspiring a generation and futureproofing the jewellery trade, this is a vital resource and could be a blueprint for centres all over the UK and we should all support it. So next time you’re in town, pop by for a piece of cake, as every little helps.
This column has been adapted from an original that first appeared in the November 2012 issue of Professional Jeweller. To see a digital copy of this issue click here.