Author: john

"Cool Money"

Unfortunately this isn’t going to be one of those posts where I show you lots of graphs telling you how the DoES finances are doing, it is going to be a post where I talk about money though. Overall the DoES finances are doing ok but they could certainly be healthier. This time last year we had about £16,849.84 in total assets. At the end of April that figure is £10,194.39. We’ve not actually had any big unusual or unexpected expenditure over the last year, looking at payments of over £300 it’s mostly rent, service charge, business rates, salary, electricity and water bills. We’ve had a few one-off expenses such as 3D printer parts, buying the laser filtration machine, accountancy fees and insurance but only the laser filtration machine was particularly expensive or unusual, and you couldn’t really call it unexpected given we got a grant of £1000 for it in 2022!

Regular Expenses

Regarding the regular expenses, all of those did go up over the last year. Our business rates valuation nearly doubled from the ridiculous £21,250 to the utterly outrageous £38,750 (remember we are expected to pay about half that figure). Fortunately we were automatically entitled to transitional relief which means the increase in what we paid was less, but that relief reduces each year so what we pay will be going up again this financial year. It’s actually the same scenario regarding our rent. Our initial lease of 5 years ended last year and with the new lease came a new rent. This also is tiered to reduce the impact but again, we’re a year in so it has increased again. Service charge went up because of the various lift issues we had in the previous year and continues to rise to cover the cost of the new lift being installed. The one bright spot now is the electricity bill which, while high over the last year, will now be lower as a 1 year fixed price contract came to an end in early 2024 and the new contract was for a lower amount.

Turnover and VAT

You can probably see where I’m going with all this, but before I say it out loud I have something else to mention. Our turnover in the last year was £73,977.00. We’ve started tracking this because we were concerned that we might hit the threshold where we’re legally required to register for VAT. In the past that threshold was £85,000 but in fact this has recently been increased to £90,000. Right now we’re still a way off hitting that but it’s still something to be aware of.

We can register for VAT at any point and doing so would allow us to claim relief of the VAT on our outgoings; most of those are VATable, including rent and utilities, but wouldn’t include rates or Sean’s salary. We would of course have to charge VAT on our “sales”, although we can choose how much of that (including “all”) to absorb into our current prices.

Upcoming Expense

The final thing to mention is that we do have a large expense that we’re going to need to make in the next few months. The air conditioning units that we use in the main workshop to heat and cool the space have always been rubbish, but now one of the units has broken down and we have been told that it’s not going to be possible to fix this, and that we would be better off getting a new pair of units which should actually provide useful heating and cooling of the space. The cost of this is £5153.55+VAT (£6,184.26 total) plus some electrical work, and we need to cover it entirely ourselves.

What should we do?

Well the obvious thing to do when your costs go up is to raise your own prices. We’d really prefer not to do this as providing low cost access to our equipment and space is our entire reason for existing. That said it does look unavoidable at the moment. If we’re going to change our pricing though it would make sense to have a discussion around whether to register for VAT at the same time. It’s unlikely to save us money but it makes sense to make changes to the prices once, rather than change them now and introduce VAT related changes in 6 months time.

The alternative to raising our prices would be to reduce our costs. Right now we’re somewhat limited in how we can do this. Even as it increases our current rent is actually pretty reasonable. Finding an alternative or additional space has long been a consideration but unfortunately we’re struggling to make any progress on this front (or even find time to try). There could even be an option around restructuring the company that is Does Liverpool CIC, splitting into multiple parts that run different areas, maybe one of which would be a charity, all of which would have different business rates liabilities (and relief). We are very proud of running DoES Liverpool as a sustainable business (in terms of it sustains itself through it’s operations rather than being reliant on external funding) so machinations like that don’t feel like the ideal way or a particularly long term solution.

Let’s talk

So what should we do. Answers on a post card? This blog post is really intended as the start of a conversation, if you have thoughts please post them on our mailing list, or if you want to get in touch more privately you’re always welcome to email hello@doesliverpool.com instead. What do people think about raising our prices? How about registering for VAT? Do you have any bright ideas for reducing costs? We welcome your ideas! Specific suggestions (e.g., “Are you aware of this particular option that could benefit you?”) are especially helpful compared to general suggestions (e.g., “Have you considered seeking funding?”). We look forward to hearing from you!

"May The Boost Be With You"

It’s time to launch the process for the next round of Boost Membership, this would be the cohort that will have their membership from July – December 2024.

If you already know what you’re doing then head over here to apply otherwise read on for more information about Boost membership.

Apply for Boost Membership

The DoES Liverpool Boost Membership was introduced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of DoES Liverpool – the amazing coworking and shared workshop space in the Fabric District of Liverpool. Boost membership gives two people the opportunity to use the space free of charge for six months either with an allocated desk or by having 24-hour access to the workshop.

As things continue to be difficult for people due to inflation, fuel prices and all the economic woes we’re dealing with at the moment we thought it would be worth pointing out that boost membership is open to anyone, even existing paying members. If 6 months free membership would help you out at the moment then feel free to apply, of course if you’re not already a paying member you are still welcome to apply.

Applications are open until 11:59pm on Sunday 16th June 2024, any applications received after this point will not be considered. We will endeavour to announce the winners as soon as possible afterwards.

We have a dedicated page with lots more information about Boost Membership so if you want to find out more just head over there and take a look!

"Keep on Boosting"

We’re very late this time, so let’s get boosting quickly!

If you already know what you’re doing then head over here to apply otherwise read on for more information about Boost membership.

Apply for Boost Membership

The DoES Liverpool Boost Membership was introduced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of DoES Liverpool – the amazing coworking and shared workshop space in the Fabric District of Liverpool. Boost membership gives two people the opportunity to use the space free of charge for six months either with an allocated desk or by having 24-hour access to the workshop.

As things continue to be difficult for people due to inflation, fuel prices and all the economic woes we’re dealing with at the moment we thought it would be worth pointing out that boost membership is open to anyone, even existing paying members. If 6 months free membership would help you out at the moment then feel free to apply, of course if you’re not already a paying member you are still welcome to apply.

Applications are open until 11:59pm on Sunday 17th March 2024, any applications received after this point will not be considered. We will endeavour to announce the winners as soon as possible afterwards.

We have a dedicated page with lots more information about Boost Membership so if you want to find out more just head over there and take a look!

"First Boost of 2024"

Christmas is a time for giving, and so it’s time again for DoES Liverpool to give a free membership to someone who needs it.

If you already know what you’re doing then head over here to apply otherwise read on for more information about Boost membership.

Apply for Boost Membership

The DoES Liverpool Boost Membership was introduced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of DoES Liverpool – the amazing coworking and shared workshop space in the Fabric District of Liverpool. Boost membership gives two people the opportunity to use the space free of charge for six months either with an allocated desk or by having 24-hour access to the workshop.

As things continue to be difficult for people due to inflation, fuel prices and all the economic woes we’re dealing with at the moment we thought it would be worth pointing out that boost membership is open to anyone, even existing paying members. If 6 months free membership would help you out at the moment then feel free to apply, of course if you’re not already a paying member you are still welcome to apply.

Applications are open until 11:59pm on Sunday 10th December 2023, any applications received after this point will not be considered. We will endeavour to announce the winners as soon as possible afterwards.

We have a dedicated page with lots more information about Boost Membership so if you want to find out more just head over there and take a look!

"Welcome to our October 2023 Boost Members"

Super late announcing this but we had 33 people apply for Boost membership this time and during the past week picked the winners and we’re ready to announce them now. These lucky people get a desk or workshop membership of DoES Liverpool to use for their projects, or to progress their business, or for pretty much whatever they want over the next 6 months. Without further adieu I welcome…

Desk Membership Winner – Simon Jones

A picture of Simon Jones in a green jacket wearing a small white hat which appears to have been folded from paper. Simon gets an allocated desk to use over the next 6 months, together with access to the workshop if he need it, he told us:

I’ll be focusing on honing my skills in Unreal Engine, photogrammetry, motion capture, and Blender. I’ve got some projects I’m working on currently, including concept art and animation for ‘Space Jarg,’ a sci-fi film I’m co-writing with Kaylee Nicholas. I’m also working on a music video for the band Unimaginable Lovers. Plus, expect to see some general video and animation work using techniques from virtual production. I’m always on the lookout for interesting collaborations too.


Workshop Membership Winner – Ashleigh De la Haye

Ashleigh De la Haye with bobbed orange hair wearing a sparkly hair band and holding a microphone as she performs stand-up comedy,Ashleigh gets full access to the workshop for the next 6 months. She also looks like she might be an entrant for our next DoES Does Stand Up event (if Kirsty gets around to organising one!) She gave us this update:

So excited to be lucky enough to have been picked! I’m looking forward to experimenting with new mediums and materials for kitsch and crazy jewellery designs as well as trying my hand at sewing!



A warm welcome to both our winners and we really look forward to meeting you and seeing what you create in our space!

"Launching the October 2023 Boost Membership"

Once again it’s time to announce the chance to get a free 6 month membership to DoES Liverpool.

If you already know what you’re doing then head over here to apply otherwise read on for more information about Boost membership.

Apply for Boost Membership

The DoES Liverpool Boost Membership was introduced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our opening DoES Liverpool – the amazing coworking and shared workshop space in the Fabric District of Liverpool. Boost membership gives two people the opportunity to use the space free of charge for six months either with an allocated desk or by having 24-hour access to the workshop.

As things continue to be difficult for people due to inflation, fuel prices and all the economic woes we’re dealing with at the moment we thought it would be worth pointing out that boost membership is open to anyone, even existing paying members. If 6 months free membership would help you out at the moment then feel free to apply, of course if you’re not already a paying member you are still welcome to apply.

Applications are open until 11:59pm on 10th September 2023, any applications received after this point will not be considered. We will endeavour to announce the winners as soon as possible afterwards.

We’ve now created a dedicated page with lots more information about Boost Membership so if you want to find out more just head over to there and take a look!

"Hello to our July Start Boost Members"

We were a little late arranging the latest boost membership but we’re very happy to announce that we’ve picked our new July start Boost members. With a warm welcome to both we can announce them as…

Desk Membership Winner – Sanna

A photo of Sanna standing at a stall with lots of crafting implements in front of here and a variety of photos and artworks behind her. She is wearing a "Maker" badge from Wirral Makefest.Our first winner is Sanna, an artist who will be taking on desk membership for the next 6 months. She sent over this quick bio:

I usually describe myself as a Maker, but haven’t done as much making lately as I would like. So I’m excited to have a workshop space again and look forward to using the fantastic facilities that DoES have on offer. Although my craft skills are more traditional, I’m hoping to get used to using the more modern machines and technology to make prototypes and small batch production runs of gifts and souvenirs for a project that I am involved with at the moment, called Ron’s Place. I would also like to play around with some ideas I have had for my own creative work.

Workshop Membership Winner – Jo

A photo of JoMo standing holding an artwork in front of her. Just the top of her from her nose upwards is visible. Behind her the view is entirely taken up by shelves of vinyl LP records.Our second winner is JoMo, another artist who will be taking on the workshop membership for the next 6 months. You can find her on Instagram as @jomotopia. She had this to say:

I’ve been mostly working in illustration and video for a while but have been itching to play with making 3D objects. In the past I have used paper to create 3D geodesic domes and other abstract shapes for installations, I have also made wooden sculptures.  This time I’d like to experiment with making illuminated perspex objects/ shapes, I don’t really know yet where it’ll go but I want to use this opportunity to explore some ideas that have been sat in my sketchbook for a while.

"Launching the July 2023 Boost Membership"

Once again it’s time to announce the chance to get a free 6 month membership to DoES Liverpool.

If you already know what you’re doing then head over here to apply otherwise read on for more information about Boost membership.

Apply for Boost Membership

The DoES Liverpool Boost Membership was introduced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our opening DoES Liverpool – the amazing coworking and shared workshop space in the Fabric District of Liverpool. Boost membership gives two people the opportunity to use the space free of charge for six months either with an allocated desk or by having 24-hour access to the workshop.

As things get increasingly difficult for people due to inflation, fuel prices and all the economic woes we’re dealing with at the moment we thought it would be worth pointing out that boost membership is open to anyone, even existing paying members. If 6 months free membership would help you out at the moment then feel free to apply, of course if you’re not already a paying member you are still welcome to apply.

Applications are open until 11:59pm on 13th June 2023, any applications received after this point will not be considered. We will endeavour to announce the winners within 48 hours.

We’ve now created a dedicated page with lots more information about Boost Membership so if you want to find out more just head over to there and take a look!

"Welcoming our April 2023 start Boost members!"

It’s time to welcome our April 2023 Boost members. Apologies for the delay announcing but we picked the winners a few weeks ago and are now ready to shout about it!

This time we had a whopping 49 people apply from which we picked two winners randomly who are starting this month (April 2023).

Desk Membership Winner – Joe

Our first winner is Joe from Remain Independent Ltd who will be taking on the desk membership for the next 6 months, he had this to say:

I specialise in managing modifications for individuals who wish to maintain their independence in their home, particularly those with disabilities or elderly.

I handle everything from planning to funding to selecting contractors to ensure my clients have a seamless and stress-free experience. Although I am not currently working full-time on the company, I am actively working towards expanding our services and operations within the next 12 months.

You can find Joe on Instagram as @remainindependent or see him around the space over the next 6 months. The featured image on this post is some work that Joe has done in the past to allow people to maintain their independence in their own home.

Workshop Membership Winner – SJ

Our second winner is SJ of SJ Arts who will be taking on the workshop membership for the next 6 months and had this to say about what she wants to do in the space:

I’m so excited to start using this space. Art has really helped me through some very dark times, and I would love nothing more than to be able to follow my dreams of becoming a fulltime artist and also help others who are struggling mentally. Having a place where I can work on my paintings, and plan my next steps, is just incredible. Thank you so much!

You can find SJ on Instagram as @sj_arts_liverpool or see her around the space over the next 6 months. Below you’ll find some of the artwork she has done in the past.

"Boost Membership Update"

With our new Boost membership application going live last week we wanted to share a post that has kindly been written by one of our Boost members, Gabriele, who joined us in October 2022. It sounds like she’s been having a great time learning about the equipment in the space. She has also been collaborating with some of our members and sharing her knowledge with us.


A close up photo of an intricate laser etching of what looks like a hand-drawn dragon. The very narrow depth of field causes the top and bottom of the image to be blurred leaving only the centre in focus.In October I was so lucky to win the boost membership for DoES Liverpool. It has granted me access to a number of wonderful machines and more importantly to many incredible people. Everyone in the DoES community has expertise in some field and they are more than eager to share it with anyone interested. Everything in DoES is set up by the community members so anyone can ask and learn about the inner workings of laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC mills or knitting machines, and get involved in calibrating and maintaining the equipment.

I have been using the laser cutters to make beautiful engravings on wood. I like making intricate designs that resemble an ink drawing and using different settings on the laser cutter to replicate the pen stroke effect.

A screenshot of a 3D design software showing a four legged creature with a long segmented torso, almost resembling a caterpillar, with two spindly arms.I have also met a number of people involved in game development. I am now designing characters for a hobby game project, as well as building a demo training platform in VR for a security company. I have recreated the Tapestry building where DoES is currently housed to use in our demonstration.

DoES is a perfect place to find exciting opportunities and learn new skills, I would recommend it to absolutely everyone.


Thanks Gabby for the great post! We’re glad you’re having such a fulfilling time at DoES Liverpool and look forward to your continued involvement.

For everyone reading this post who thinks this sounds like somewhere you would like to spend more time, we have a weekly Maker Night on Thursday evenings from 6pm and a monthly Maker Day on the second Saturday from 10am-5pm. These are free sessions you can drop in to and have a look around the space or get started on a project. You can also come in any time and have your first day free if you bring cake or snacks to share! Finally, as mentioned above we have just opened applications for the April 2023 Boost Membership, so sign up if you’re interested in six months free access to DoES Liverpool!

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