We have launched our ‘Save Our Story’ Appeal to raise £350,000 for the purchase and improvement of 21 St. Nicholas street. 

21 St Nicholas street is to be sold in early 2024, our charity designermakersCIO has the one-off chance to buy this unique Victorian building, ensuring the public have access to learn about crafts and craft skills, inspiring creativity for generations to come.

Owning the building will enable designermakersCIO to secure the future of designermakers21 for Diss, as a dynamic centre of excellence, promoting creative practice, providing employment and business opportunities and attracting tourists from East Anglia and elsewhere. 

We plan to raise funds through a combination of grants and fundraising. Attending our events and visiting designermakers21 demonstrates your support for our venture and sends a clear message to our funders.

If you wish to contribute to our ‘Save Our Story’ campaign then please click on the’Donate’ button below and you will be redirected to our online Giving page.

Breaking News

designermakersCIO is pleased to announce that our bid for the Levelling Up Community Ownership fund has been successful !

Dehenna Davison MP said: “We are delighted to inform you that your application has been successful, and to approve the award of a COF grant of £171,750 capital funding … the designermakers21 building purchase to help save your treasured community asset and support the ambitions of your community.”

This is a tremendous boost, but we still need grants, donations etc. to match fund the COF grant up to our target of £350,000.

designermakers Charitable Incorporated Organisation aims to:

…… promote, improve and advance education in and appreciation of the arts……through the facilitation and management of workshops and training courses in different design and craft skills, for people living in East Anglia and beyond, with the aim of engaging them in creative activities as a medium for learning”.

  • We are passionate about Craft and Craft skills.
  • We organise workshops, public demonstrations and open-access events that teach and promote the practice of heritage and contemporary craft skills.
  • We run a craft centre in Diss called designermakers21. Incorporating craft studios, galleries and workshops, designermakers21 is the core of designermakersCIO.

What we achieved in 2021:

• 5000 visitors benefiting from:
• 117 days of public access to studios and Demonstrations
• 7 Exhibitions
• 9 Events
• 240 Workshops for 1266 participants.


designermakers21 is the Home of designermakersCIO

designermakers21 is a creative hub which nurtures and promotes the appreciation of heritage and contemporary craft in Diss, South Norfolk and the wider region.


designermakers21 a craft centre with so much to offer:

  • 12 craft studios

  • Extensive gallery space

  • Large exhibition space

  • Large workshop space for hire

  • Showcase exhibition area

  • Ceramics workshop space

  • Screen print studio

What we do

Our mission is to facilitate opportunities for Education in the Arts through the provision of:


  • Workshops, demonstrations and taster days, in heritage and contemporary craft processes for diverse participants and audiences.

Many resident makers offer workshops in their respective craft discipline; click   here    to download or open the dm21 Workshop leaflet with full details.


  • Community engagement in local and national arts events; working with local schools and forming active partnerships with arts organisations.
  • Studios and exhibition spaces for professional craftspeople to create and exhibit high quality work.
  • A supportive and creative environment for individuals to develop and share their practice.

designermakersCIO intends to expand the opportunities available to both makers and learners:


  • Our newly converted ‘Potting shed’ is a ceramics studio run by our resident potter Kate Welton. With kiln, potting wheels, attendant tools and other hardware, it is also available to hire as a community resource.
  • ‘The Old White Forge’ is our screen print studio (with facilities donated by Dissigns) which has already been used for work with local schools, it will soon be available as a community resource.
  • Paul Sharrock is a new member in 2022, specialising in lithographic and intaglio processes. He will occupy the lower half of the ‘potting shed’ where he plans to produce, share, demonstrate and teach a variety of printing techniques.


How you could help

Here are some ways you could help us to continue the work we do.


We have a varied programme of events at dm21, all open for public participation. One of the best ways you can help us is to attend our events, please come along if you can:


  • We hold fundraising events, including gigs at dm21; music, entertainment and fun.
  • We have free and open access taster days, where the public can observe specific craft processes being demonstrated and even have a go.
  • We host a range of craft skills workshops at dm21, some delivered by the in-house makers, some by visiting makers.
  • We curate and facilitate a programme of exhibitions; showcasing upcoming & established makers and presenting in depth expositions of craft processes.
  • designermakers21 is a cornucopia of craft disciplines and craft objects, where makers can be seen practicing their skills and the public can learn the joys of making.
  • Many makers at designermakers21 offer workshops, details can be found on the dm21 workshop leaflet, open or download a copy here .

If you wish to support us in a more direct way maybe consider becoming a ‘Friend of designermakersCIO‘: Membership is just £20 per year, benefits include:

  • 10% discount on all designermakersCIO & designermakers21 branded merchandise.
  • 10% discount on one workshop at designermakers21.
  • Priority booking for all designermakersCIO & designermakers21 events and ‘experience days’

If you would like to become a ‘Friend’ of designermakersCIO then download a membership form here, fill it in, save it and attach it to an email addressed to .

If you need more information or details then drop us an email at

If donating is more for you then we invite you to make a donation on our ‘Save Our Story’  JustGiving   page, click on the ‘Donate’ button below, or if you’re more into analogue; put some cash in our donations box at dm21.

designermakers21 have a website where you can see what we have on offer at 21 St. Nicholas st.

Follow the dm21 social media webpages at Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the latest events and happenings at dm21.

To receive updates on events at designermakers21, join our mailing list by clicking here and entering your email in the form on the page that opens. You will then receive a ‘request to confirm’ email (keep an eye on that spam folder!), that’s all there is to it.

Contact us

The home of designermakersCIO is designermakers21

designermakers21 can be found in Diss, Norfolk, atop the Diss peak at 21 St. Nicholas street, opposite the Diss Corn Hall.

designermakers21 –  21 St. Nicholas street, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4LB.

Open at the following times:

  • Thursdays      10am to 5pm
  • Fridays              10am to 5pm
  • Saturdays       10am to 5pm

Diss has good transport links including mainline trains connecting to London / Norwich, cross border bus services and a variety of taxi services.

Diss has a number of car parks, as indicated on this map. First hour is free, then £1 per hour up to £4 max. Details can be found on Parkopaedia (just enter ‘Diss, Norfolk’ and specify time of visit).

Makers details and details of events at dm21 can be found here.

To find out more about designermakersCIO drop us an email at:
To subscribe to our email list and receive news about upcoming events at designermakers21, please click here and enter your email address in the linked form.



Albrights of Diss was a hardware and ironmongers store that occupied 21 St Nicholas street Diss, opposite the Corn Hall, for well over a hundred years until it closed in 2008.

In 2013, through the inspired vision of the Corn Hall Trust and the generosity of the Diss & Ipswich Quakers, 21 St. Nicholas street Diss open it’s doors once more, this time as designermakers21; a crafters collective.

You can read more about the development of designermakers21 and designermakersCIO by going to the History page, accessible via the menu link.