Are you a maker, designer or artist, perhaps you are a writer with a passion for storytelling or a creative practitioner with an interest in heritage?

During the lockdown, we want to continue to support the arts community. We are looking to hear from creative practitioners with potential designs and ideas inspired by our building and its history. We are particularly interested in hearing from makers with a view to developing an exclusive Hive product range for future retail and online sales.

Working closely with The Hive, the successful artist(s) will be offered an initial commission of £500 to develop their design idea or prototype.

What we are looking for

  • Exceptional craftmanship
  • Interpretation of the building, its history or location
  • Commercial and retail potential at an entry-level price point

How to apply

Please send a short expression of interest and a little about you and your practice, no more than 500 words, a current CV and any links to your website or digital portfolio you would like us to consider. We also welcome applications via alternative methods, such as video and audio. We encourage applications from currently under-represented groups in craft and heritage industries.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss access to our archives to develop your idea. All enquiries and submissions to [email protected]

Deadline: 24th May 2020


About the Hive

The Hive at New Standard Works is located on the ground floor of a Grade II listed former jewellery manufactory, built in 1879 within the industrial middle of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. We are proud to offer an inclusive and friendly welcome to all our visitors.

Visitors can explore the building’s industrial heritage and contemporary uses through creative exhibitions and installations throughout the ground floor which includes a Heritage Lounge, Gallery and Makers Studio.  There is free entry to exhibitions and ‘hands-on’ craft activities available every day we are open. We have also been running a programme of craft courses for adults and families and a vibrant community engagement activity programme.

Also, on the ground floor is the Hive Café & Bakery; serving delicious organic and freshly made food and cakes. The food includes ingredients from the rooftop garden handpicked the same morning! We also share the building with Argent College, a Ruskin Mill Trust specialist educational college for young people aged 16 – 25 with learning differences, which operates from the upper floors; including the roof where you’ll find the UK’s only bio-dynamically farmed rooftop garden. The tradition of craft and making in the building since 1879 continues today; the students are mastering the arts of jewellery, silversmithing, leatherwork, felting, catering, horticulture and candle making. 

Until it was bought in 2013 by the sister educational charity Ruskin Mill Land Trust, the derelict Standard Works had been left empty and unused for over 28 years. We have funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to run a five-year programme of heritage-inspired events and activities. 

For more information about The Hive and Ruskin Mill Land Trust please visit