Digital Technology and Manufacturing workshop, Fab Lab, is set to open in Coventry after being granted permission to open in a vacant shop in the city centre.
Fab Lab Coventry will provide the next generation of engineers and manufacturers with access to the latest equipment in the industry.
The company will be based in the City Arcade and will join a hub network throughout the UK which will provide the public with access to computer aided design (CAD) machines, digital electronics station, laser cutting machines and 3D printers and scanners.
The facility will also be used for learning experiences, teaching and training and will bid to raise aspirations of young people in Coventry.
The main organisations backing the project include Imagineer Productions, Positive Youth Foundation, Coventry City Councilâs Job Shop, the University of Warwick and Coventry University.
The planning application for the site also stated that it will support the cityâs City of Culture application for 2021, as well as tackling the skills gap and bolstering the city’s engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
Last week, Coventry City Council approved the proposals to change the use of the vacant shop to accommodate Fab Lab.
Planning officers agreed that the city centre site was an appropriate location for the development and will contribute positively to the cityâs stature.
The Manufacturing Institute launched the first Fab Lab in the UK six years ago in Manchester and was soon followed by similar facilities opening in West Yorkshire, Ellesmere Port, Cockermouth, London, Falmouth, Ironbridge, Londonderry and Belfast.
All these venues come under the umbrella of Fab UK, which has stated its ambition to develop a network of labs throughout the UK to engage with 250,000 people by 2020.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Neil Gershenfeld, a scientist and inventor, came up with the Fab Lab concept.