Collaboration across Glasgow’s creative industries is helping a group of traditional businesses branch out into new markets and benefitting the local community.

Alan Rochead at The Glasgow Wood Co-operative, explains how technological innovation and a collective approach have helped build a platform for growth.


The decision, in 2014, to unite a group of Glasgow’s leading social enterprises in the Wood Co-operative has been a huge success.

Working collaboratively, we’ve been able to pool the different skills, experience and knowledge of a number of diverse businesses and apply them to traditional industries.

We bring together traditional craft and recycling with innovative design and cutting edge digital technology to assist Glasgow’s creative sector, our aim being to deliver high quality projects with maximum social value.

Collaboration is the key to our success as it enables all our members to take on projects that might be outside the scope of the individual businesses.

GalGael is all about traditional craft encompassing everything from boat building, wooden products and building handcraft furniture to the sourcing of Scottish hardwood timber.

At the other end of the spectrum, MAKLAB focuses on technologies such as 3D printing, CNC routing machines and digital embroidery.

The Coach House Trust provides workshops in art, gardening, woodwork, computing, music and healthy eating while Glasgow Wood Recycling uses reclaimed timber to make a wide range of garden and indoor furniture.

Our combined ability to work on everything from boats to buildings and tables to raised planters gives us a real edge, combining technical skill with traditional craft.

And we’re happy to share our expertise. We offer training opportunities across all of our Glasgow facilities for people to learn skills such as 3D printing, boat building, furniture making and jewellery making.

As well as having skills and people to manufacture and erect a range of buildings we also offer design, architecture and engineering services.

We have workshop facilities throughout Glasgow. MAKLAB’s micro manufacturing space occupies the railway arches at Commerce Street, Tradeston and GalGael’s boatbuilding workshop is located in Govan.

Glasgow Wood Recycling is based in Scotstoun and The Coach House Trust have their workspaces just off Great Western Road.

We’re always on the lookout for new projects so if you would like to commission a piece of work, are looking for a collaboration or are interested in training opportunities, check out our website or you can get in touch via email


The above blog post has been made possible through the generous support of Creative Clyde and the named contributors.