We want to channel Lewisham's creativity to develop new ideas for the Boroughs community spaces
In 2016 the Grade II listed Hatcham Liberal Club building in New Cross South London was sold and transformed into luxury flats. However, a stipulation was made that a section of the restored building had to remain a member's hall. In 2020 a group of local people established a Community Interest Company to trial a new purpose for this hall and despite COVID restrictions have proved that a new business model can work so as to presever this precious community asset and re-model the space so it becomes a new, inclusive 'hub' for people needing somewhere to work (hot desking), to hatch new enterprises, and run community events. We have consulted with local people, proved there is demand for a new purpose with over 80 members already signed up. Prior to Covid we also ran successful fundraising concerts, exhibitions and employment training sessions for young people. We now have the opportunity to purchase the hall and keep it as a precious community space for local people.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The benefits of this project are that a beautiul grade II listed building has a new purpose and is kept as a community assett. However, this is not just a capital fundraising appeal, once the hall is secured as Hatcham House we can build on the pilot trial, develop a sound and sustainable business model so we can: * Provide space for local people to use the hall on a daily basis to work (we have piloted an app which allows local people to book and pay for an affordable daily space) * Provide employment for 2 staff to run the space and help both users curate events/exhibitions/community activities from the premises. - We have already piloted this as 'Hatch Hour' -see www.hatchamhouse.com/events * Develop an income stream through which we can innovate in helping local people work and share locally in a post-covid world. * Support the local economic eco-system by ensuring that people use local facilities and shops. For example we would like to host local business forums in the space.
Steps to get it done:
We have not launched our Space Hive £120,000 funding needed for this project before first testing the business model. Despite Covid-19 restrictions we have already proved there is demand for a unique offering. Indeed there are no other community co-working spaces like this in our area and we believe that if we get the model right we can replicate the approach and help other community groups find new and exciting uses for old buildings which are not being used. For example, pubs, faith commnity halls, business premises and local authority building assetts which are no longer used. Local people need to feel a sense of belonging to their place. A space like Hatcham House gives a sense of civic pride, and links the past and finds new purpose for a historical members club. We already have 2 funders in the form of Hyde Housing (which has given a grant of £5,000 for our youth training workshops) and LB of Lewisham which has awarded us a small busines grant of £5,000.
About the space
London Borough of Lewisham
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