AN entrepreneur from Salisbury is looking to set up a not-for-profit space to help the city’s engineers and technicians to use their skills and explore ideas both for their own benefit and for their community.

Cliff Leach, 59, is managing director of Chatsfield Technologies, an IT services company, and has worked across the information technology and engineering sectors. Paraplegic since a road accident 36 years ago, he works with the charity REMAP, which designs and builds bespoke products for disabled people.

He said is this work that has inspired the Salisbury Makerspace project.

“The Salisbury Makerspace will be an amalgam of three concepts,” he said, “which will bring together professionals and amateurs.

“I believe there is an untapped opportunity for a community space that enables designing, making and creating activities to be undertaken by groups and individuals, with potentially great social benefit.”

The project will incorporate the ideas of the Hackerspace and Makerspace movements; of places where skilled professionals such as software engineers come together to share and develop their ideas. Combined with this would be a traditional craft workshop for disciplines such as carpentry, based on the Australian Men’s Sheds idea, aimed primarily at retired people.

Leach is confident that the city has a demand for both of these. “Salisbury has a strong history of engineering,” he said. “We’ve had gunsmiths, clockmakers and bell founders here.” “Retired men are notoriously bad at networking,” he added The Makerspace aims to give people the chance to share their enthusiasm for and knowledge of crafts while also reducing social isolation.

Those interested in the project can visit or contact Cliff Leach at As the Salisbury Makerspace project is still in the planning stages, Mr Leach is also looking to hear from anyone who has available workshop space.