Enfield Making History, Women at Work: Then and Now

ACAVA wins National Lottery support

Today, ACAVA has received £7,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a pioneering project, ‘Enfield Making History, Women at Work: Then and Now’ in The Meridian Water redevelopment area of Enfield. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the origins of the history of women’s work in industrial Enfield since men’s conscription in 1916. 

The project will commission a women artist-in-residence who will be based in Building BloQS, an open access workshop in the Meridian Water area, and will undertake archival research in both Enfield Local Studies Library and Archive and The National Co-operative archive; they will then create a body of work inspired and informed by their discoveries. The artist will enable local people to discover these histories in two creative hands-on workshops, all work produced will be shown in an exhibition at The Dugdale centre, Enfield. 

ACAVA an arts educational charity and Building BloQs a not-for profit open workshop, have teamed up with The London Borough of Enfield to provide a pioneering community outreach programme for the Meridian Water regeneration area in Enfield. Working with heritage professionals from Enfield Local Archive and The National Cooperative archive, Manchester, Women at Work: Then and Now will gain a deeper insight into the history of women’s work in this area as well as distributing valuable new skills to local people.

Cllr Ayfer Orhan, Cabinet Member for Education, Children's Service, Protection and Libraries noted:

“Our Local Studies and Archives at The Dugdale Centre are a vital resource for Enfield, helping to unlock our rich history. We are thrilled that it is being used in this exhibition to tell the story of women in the workplace in Enfield and that the exhibition will be presented in the Local Studies home at The Dugdale Centre. We are also delighted that the information from the Archives will be used to inspire a new generation of women in the Meridian Water development.

Commenting on the award, Rosie Ridgway said: “We are thrilled to have received support thanks to National Lottery players are confident the project will uncover exciting new heritage about the valuable work women have done within Enfield and also will support the aim to bring back the creativity, innovation and skills that were once central to this area”



Through the provision of affordable artist studios ACAVA manages a programme of activities for community benefit. We do this by linking our member artists to the communities in which our studios are based, running artist lead projects that promote health, wellbeing and community cohesion as well as providing professional development and support for artists who provide public benefit. www.acava.org Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and use #Enfieldmakinghistory 

About Building BloQs

We’ve set-out to build a new approach to space, resource, and community in our city. Opened in 2012, Building BloQs is a not-for-profit open workshop space created to provide London’s freelance makers, small businesses and designers with the tools needed to establish and grow their careers. Our mission is to provide the resources necessary so anyone can make anything. We offer professional workshop space and equipment to work in wood, metal, textiles, paint, and digital fabrication, with a flexible pay-as-you-go membership structure so that makers can scale their usage up, down, or sideways to fit their project or practice.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Rosie Ridgway at ACAVA on 07825794169 or rridgway@acava.org