Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visited FabLab Belfast at the end of last month to experience the ground breaking work bringing digital fabrication technology to people’s lives. He saw young people from the Threshold programme (NEET) getting to grips with software by designing bespoke products and using CNC machines and witnessed the creative work that the Ashton Community Trust are doing to engage the wider North Belfast in developing confidence and skills in new digital technologies throughout the community.
Mr Lewis was impressed with the way a leading community organisation was able to harness the potential and opportunities that come with a FabLab and use this for social innovation. The team demonstrated ways in which individual, groups and business could become involved in FabLab to drive skills, ambition and aspiration, all of which serves to build a new, thriving Northern Ireland.
The Shadow Secretary had made the trip to Northern Ireland to meet and talk with those involved in innovative community work, to feed into Heenan-Anderson Independent Commission which will make recommendations for future policy decisions.