What do you get when you cross a 24,000 sq. ft. derelict warehouse with a heap of entrepreneurial spirit? For 24-year-old Cardiff Met graduate Nick Saunders, the answer was DEPOT – Cardiff’s most exciting new pop up events venue. Nick, who hails from Liverpool but has family connections with Cardiff, moved to Wales’ capital city for University. He graduated from Cardiff Met in 2013 with a 2:1 and landed a job working for AstraZeneca as a Pharmaceutical Rep, but in his spare time, he had plans to do something a just little bit different…
“Back in Liverpool where I’m from, there’s a venue I love called Camp and Furnace. It’s essentially a warehouse that’s been transformed in to a permanent festival of food, drink, art and music. When I moved to Cardiff to attend Cardiff Met, I tried to find somewhere like that here – but there was nothing similar. Eventually, I decided that I’d just have to create it myself, so once I’d graduated, I started looking for an empty warehouse or industrial unit that I could transform.
I found a 24,000 square-foot abandoned warehouse on Dumball’s Road, and knew that was what I wanted. I’d spent the last four years of my spare time at Cardiff Met organising successful clubs nights featuring artists like Duke Dumont; I figured transforming this empty warehouse would be my next challenge. To be honest, I didn’t really anticipate just quite how much work it would be!
I agreed to rent it, but there were lots of repairs and regulatory things that needed addressing, like making sure that we had proper fire escapes and stuff. It took four whole days just to paint the floors grey, but we got there in the end! Since opening we’ve hosted street food and beer festivals, vintage fairs, sports screening events and loads of private functions, too.”
“I now have a small team around me and we do almost all of our PR, marketing and event management ourselves – it’s a huge amount of work but I get to draw on the skills I picked up in my Marketing Management degree all the time. It hasn’t always been easy, but I am really proud of what’s been achieved. The great thing about the DEPOT is that it is always changing – for me that’s the most exciting part.”