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A Makers’ Workshop for the future:
Makers’ Workshop is being reimagined into an exciting technology and innovation hub, building on the region’s history of making, and featuring its strengths in ‘modern making’.
The University will be introducing a new range of learning, research and industry projects at the site focused on supporting technology, manufacturing, design, innovation, and food production in the North-West.
This will be enabled by bringing together our Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) facility, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), a new Business Incubator, and a public demonstration space inside the building. The building will be open to the public on a programmed basis enabling people to see and experience technology and innovation from the region.
Frequently asked questions
In 2021, Burnie City Council ceased its tourism operations on site – the Visitor Information Centre and Creative Paper Mill. This changed the traditional tourism-based business model of Makers’ Workshop. With little visitation, the retail shop, café, and the Makers’ program, could not be sustained. Burnie City Council continues to own the building and as the tenant of Makers’ Workshop, the University has been careful in considering the future use of the site. We are aware of the need for Makers’ to continue connecting with the community and for future activities to be true to the proud and extensive history of ‘making’ in the North-West. Makers’ Workshop’s future is aimed at demonstrating and supporting the technology and innovation that our region is known for – agricultural technology, specialised manufacturing, and entrepreneurship in small business.
The technology and innovation focus of the new Makers’ involves:
- The Original Equipment Manufacturing Facility (OEM) which conducts training for local people and industry projects in technology, design and specialised manufacturing.
- The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) which will be undertaking laboratory science and developing agricultural technology on-site addressing regional food production and processing challenges.
- A Business Incubator led by the Cradle Coast Authority, supported by the Tasmanian Government, and aimed at assisting aspiring local entrepreneurs, start-ups, and existing small businesses.
- A demonstration space showcasing technology from the region for the public.
Over the period that Makers’ Workshop has been closed, much planning, preparation, and stakeholder and industry discussions have been underway. Burnie City Council has approved a change of use application for the site, and detailed floorplans have been developed together with a Development Application for minor external works. The next steps will be seeking a building permit and undertaking a tendering process to refurbish the interior over the coming months. The tendering, refurbishment and the transition process will take considerable time. Contractor activity will commence in the second half of 2022 and we expect Makers’ Workshop to be fully operational in its new form in 2023. Until the next chapter begins, the building will remain temporarily closed. We are repurposing as much of the existing furniture as possible. Any surplus furniture will be made available to the community. We have arranged for Fairbrother (which controls the carpark areas of the broader site) to remove the safety fencing along the Bass Highway which has improved the look of the area. The grounds are also being maintained.
Makers’ Workshop will reopen to the public on a programmed basis. Businesses and primary producers will be able to access training and participate in technology and design projects, while the demonstration space will allow community members to see and experience displays of technology relevant to our region during a programmed event. We plan to involve schools and community organisations with events, and have a schedule of activities that the public can participate in. Coffee and food options are available nearby at the publicly-accessible café on the ground floor in the adjacent university campus building.
Absolutely. New operators and entrepreneurs from the region can participate in development programs and progress their ideas in the Business Incubator led by the Cradle Coast Authority. It will feature co-working spaces, business mentoring and training. This will not only help new local businesses develop but will also contribute to future local jobs and economic prosperity. OEM and TIA staff will continue to engage with business and industry to help solve industry problems and provide people with the skills needed across our region’s workforce. Industry, business and community members can also participate in learning programs and public events. An industry briefing was held recently and these will continue. Please reach out to us at email@example.com if you would like to connect and learn more.
The interior floorplan will be reconfigured to allow for laboratories, co-working spaces in the Business Incubator, collaborative learning areas, and demonstrations of technology in the foyer. Minor alterations will be made to the building’s façade and also to the loading dock area to include outdoor storage areas and fencing. Parking will continue to be available west of the building. We are working with Burnie City Council to transform the eastern carpark into a landscaped park area which can be enjoyed by the community while creating an attractive connection between Makers’ Workshop and the city centre.
Much consideration has gone into this. Any change to the name would still need to reflect making, the heritage of Makers’ Workshop, and Burnie as the City of Makers. However, the ‘workshop’ element of handmade making has changed. Hence, we are proposing the new Makers’ Workshop be called The Makers or simply Makers’. This retains its well-known name, reflects the ‘modern making’ of the technology and innovation featured in the building, and respects its past of artisan making. If people agree, we would progress a new logo and signage at the site.
The role that Makers’ Workshop played in the arts and artisan ‘making’ will be progressed a short distance away at Burnie City Council’s new cultural precinct located in the heart of the CBD. The paper mache figures will be retained in their display cases in the building.
Monthly community walks will be resuming at West Park soon. These are open to everyone and will include a progress update about our plans for Makers’ Workshop as well as a tour of the new campus Field Building to discover what it enables for our region.
Cradle Coast campus
We’ve opened our brand-new waterfront campus at West Park in Burnie - a place of learning, cultural and recreational activities for many decades. Here, you’ll get to make the most of interactive learning in our immersive teaching rooms, connect with your peers in social spaces, and be part of a vibrant community precinct.
The campus – known as the Field Building – is distinctive to the Cradle Coast. Its shape reflects the headlands that stretch along the rugged Bass Strait coastline, while the green roof speaks to the rich North West landscapes. The Domestic Arts building - the last surviving structure from the original Burnie High School - lives on as an important feature of the campus, honouring the history of the site while celebrating its future.
Enjoy the neighbouring beach and boardwalk between classes, or head downtown to check out the nearby shopping district.
As part of our city move, we’ve been introducing an exciting range of courses that serve the region and allow people from our community to study closer to home.
Features of the new campus
The $52 million campus was co-designed with input from the community, students and staff, and funded through contributions from Local, State and Federal Governments as well as the University. You’ll find:
- Contemporary teaching and learning environments
- State-of-the-art nursing simulation labs
- Gathering spaces, including a central courtyard
- A bike storage and repair facility
- Publicly accessible café and library
Our university also has a presence at several other sites across the North West and West Coast.
You’ll find our Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) and Atrium Apartments at Mooreville Road. We also have an Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) Facility in the heart of South Burnie’s industrial precinct, while our Rural Clinical School (RCS) has two campuses in Burnie and Latrobe. TIA has research facilities at Elliott and Forthside, and we also support community-based study centres in Zeehan and Smithton.