Founded in 1977 as a training and enterprise organisation, Bootstrap Company is updating the delivery of its mission for the 21st century after substantial change. As a development trust, social enterprise and charity, Bootstrap has transformed the cultural and creative life of its corner of Dalston through sensible management of its assets.
As we look to the future we want to build on the lessons learned over the last 32 years to improve the social, physical and economic environment of the people of Dalston and Hackney.
Bootstrap Company exists to support and facilitate the growth of micro, creative and social enterprises and provides high quality managed workspace. Bootstrap Company is led by a board of voluntary trustees.
Bootstrap Company has set itself the following objectives:
To improve the environment in Dalston by developing and implementing creative and sustainable plans for the regeneration of the area.
To develop local potential by providing excellent managed workspace for micro, small, medium and creative enterprises and the community and voluntary sector.
To ensure Bootstrap Company's financial sustainability by sensible management and expansion of its assets.
To create an organisation in which staff and volunteers are able to reach their full potential.
Bootstrap emerged at a time when the country was experiencing high levels of unemployment and industrial restructuring. The government promoted self-employment by introducing Local Enterprise Agencies, which linked the local government with local industries and acted as a mechanism to assist the connection of big businesses and small people. Co-ops were established to generate alternative forms of employment that would empower the local community.
Bootstrap Company's activities developed to working with unemployed residents on Hackney estates, as well as in Lambeth and Camden. These estate services offered residents advice and information about jobs and training opportunities. Later Bootstrap also provided training and community enterprise support in Dalston, targeted at the unemployed.
As a development trust, Bootstrap Company embarked on an asset development strategy, getting support to acquire and develop property in Dalston, starting with the Print House (the old Reeves paint factory), to provide a base for their training and employment programmes as well as providing a rental income stream.
By early 2005 the organization had accumulated substantial debts, lost the confidence of the directors and had significant liabilities in relation to staff. In March 2005, the trustees brought in the services of the Environment Trust, a long established sister development trust. The Environment Trust advised on restructuring the organisation: the training and enterprise support activities came to an end and the charity focused its work retaining its assets in public ownership.
Between April 2005 and June 2009 major renovation works funded by European Regional Development Fund, were undertaken. Further development and improvement plans for the area were also devised and pursued with some of Bootstrap’s ideas feeding into the Local Development Framework adopted by the London Borough of Hackney in the Dalston Area Action Plan.
The Print House Gallery is an intimate and exciting commercial space in the heart of Dalston. Our primary focus is to showcase a mixture of emerging and established contemporary artists across a variety of artistic mediums. The ongoing aim for the gallery is to show work from a selection of artists we really believe in and we feel deserve your and our time.
The Print House Gallery differs slightly from other galleries. Whilst we are a commercial gallery space at heart, we also exist to help the growth of social and creative enterprises. It is incredibly important to all of us involved that we find the time between major shows to support charity based organisations and education programmes.
At this early stage we strive to be incredibly versatile in the shows we choose. We are very passionate about what we do and we have very high hopes for the shows we have programmed until spring 2010.
We're always on the look out for new artists so please get in touch. For any information regarding the Print House Gallery you can email: