Our key objective is to help socially and financially disadvantaged ‘cultural creatives’ to create their own living and work homes. The project delivers community advice on membership building, R&D for regenerative sustainable community led housing, surveys, planning and consultancy for architectural design. We also provide trades people and up skilling for a co-operative membership that wants to co-create a design/build for existing unused empty spaces/housing. Members, volunteers, employees, directors and sub-contractors are community accountable. This will enable more community cohesion and co-ownership and self-reliance. The actual retrofit build will be restorative ( net positive ) and will revitalise the neighbourhood pro-actively. With the help of some match funding and grants but predominantly a mortgage, the co-operatively led membership will invest in its own members and its community interest company to acquire a building and finance the conversion into work homes.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The ‘cultural creatives’ community in Newcastle has been struggling since austerity cuts and studios are expensive. It is not easy for financially disadvantaged members of our wider community to rent a studio and living space together. Our solution is to facilitate the group self build retrofit of empty spaces for the purpose of living and working in the same building with workshop spaces and the chance to professionally collaborate with each other. A co-operative membership will be up skilled and learn to apply them becoming more self-reliant. Net positive Regenerative/restorative design/build means the retrofit will generate income through the use of renewable energies , i.e. solar cells. We will replant trees in the same amount of wood we use and add to the natural environment rather than just exploiting it. An ecological mortgage/loan will allow for co-ownership within 20 years. We intend to replicate a similar working model to that of Star and Shadow Co-operative.
Steps to get it done:
Regenerative sustainable projects like this enable members to pro-actively be part of the solution to larger problems we are faced with in today’s society. Climate emergency and what we can do as a group to alleviate the carbon problem. The other, integrally built affordable housing and professional work spaces for those ‘creatives’ with the motivation to co-create social venture businesses that change the world for the better. If successful this model could be replicated further by members for future community-led developments.
About the space
Newcastle City Council
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