There can be no escaping the fact that our high streets aren’t the places they once were. Whether through local economic factors or the mass move to out of town shopping, there is hardly a town or city that isn’t affected by the blight of closed down shops and shuttered buildings. At Startacus we love hearing about people that are doing their best, bit by bit to turn this around - whether it’s a pop up shop or temporary artist’s gallery, we think they ought to be supported and revered; which is why we absolutely the work that Meanwhile Space is doing.
Meanwhile Space is a Community Interest Company who are experts in meanwhile uses for empty spaces. They define a ‘Meanwhile’ use as ‘the temporary use of vacant buildings or land for a socially beneficial purpose until such a time that they can be brought back into commercial use again.’ Since it started in 2009 they have helped numerous local authorities and developers to open up a variety of meanwhile spaces; they have helped deliver incubation spaces to people who want to try out a new business or idea for a week or more at a time and they have helped regenerate and reanimate spaces all round the country. Their latest initiative Meanwhile Connect is the one we all can get involved in. Basically it is an online property searching tool for anyone interested in a Meanwhile space. If you are a landlord or property owner with a vacant space or building, you can use the service to list your propery. If you are a startup looking for somewhere to base your business, or a social enterprise needing a base, you can use the search function to see what spaces are available in your area. And if you simply have an idea for an empty space, you can use the service to search for suitable spaces, complete a Project Proposal and let Meanwhile Space make the connections for you with the property owner.
If this service gets used properly, it could make a real difference to so many people. Just think of how vibrant your own town or city could be if the landlords were engaging with the local independent creatives and startups and all those empty and vacant spaces were being used again.
If you’re interested in finding out more, check out Meanwhile Space - they’ve got it all covered.