Easthampstead Works opened its doors to the public on Thursday (September 5) evening as Bracknell’s creatives came together.

Easthampstead House, which used to be the offices for Bracknell Forest Council (BFC), was leased out by This is Projekt in December 2018 and has since been re-imagined as a space where the town’s entrepreneurs can set up their businesses.

Among those set up already includes SWEAT (a gym with classes for women only), a painting workshop, About This Place (a space for freelance hairdressers to work from) and more.

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Victoria Saunders, who runs About This Place, told the News about the benefits of allowing mobile hairdressers use a town-centre space to cut clients’ hair.

She said: “Hairdressers do different things; some do photoshoots, some do teaching, some are mums, they need to be able to come in and do their clients and then look after their kids.

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“We want to make it very accessible.

“What these guys are doing is providing an affordable place for creatives.

“It’s nice being in a bit of a hub and having different people everywhere – it’s a community and everyone is helping each other.”

The ground floor and first floor is equipped with spaces for small companies or creatives who want to hot desk.

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One floor up is SWEAT, a gym and beauty-room which is used solely by women during the day before mixed classes use the space in the evenings.

Bridget Colliers is in charge of SWEAT and she said: “We really love the space we’ve got.

“It’s a premium location in Bracknell, which is an up and coming town.”

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A few flights further up is the ‘Bracknell Community Maker Space’, which is a place for people to ‘make things’.

Tools and equipment are provided for residents to knit, do some woodworking, sewing, metalworking, jewellery making and more.

It is aimed for those “stuck at home with nothing to do” so they can fill their time “making something from nothing”.

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Employees at businesses based at Easthampstead Works can drop their children off at a creche on level two and participate in yoga classes on the same floor during lunch breaks.

Back on the ground floor, Nathan Gibbons has set up an art studio for residents to take part in painting classes.

The workshop set up last month and classes are held weekly but it is hoped up to three sessions could be held every week soon.

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Nathan told the News: “The classes are selling out, it’s really surprised us.

“The response has been great in the local community and most of the people that come to classes have never lifted a paintbrush before and they’re all going home with something they’re really happy with.”

Below the art studio is a basement area with multiple rooms – a space Nathan suggested could be turned into escape rooms – but plans are currently at an early stage.

Local Berkshire: Could these basement rooms be converted into escape rooms?Could these basement rooms be converted into escape rooms?

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Easthampstead House was originally set to be demolished after Bracknell Forest Council moved out, but This is Projekt has a five-year lease for the site.