Brixton Works: the citizen view for a better economy

There is another way. We cannot live outside of the economic realities but we can do things differently ourselves and demonstrate that creating value and reinvesting it back in the local economy is the only way to protect the long term health of Brixton. Brixton Works is a public enterprise trying to take back the economy. We need your views. 
Back in October 2015 I wrote about Brixton Works – something we are doing to prove that it is possible to have sustainable financial growth without losing the social benefits nor letting the increasing value created by a thriving local escape.

 

Brixton Works is about providing affordable workspace in Brixton by creating a social lettings agency for economic space in Brixton. We know that as things improve and a place becomes more attractive, the pressure to cash in on increasing values has been something which has affected a number of Brixton businesses. Brixton Works will treat it’s assets as more than something to be sweated for maximum profit. 
The steering group is made up of a number of businesses from Brixton, from the workspace world as well as the Brixton Business Improvement District and crucially the GLA who are funding the start up with £200k.

We have come up with some principles we think Brixton Works should abide by. We want to discuss whether they are right for Brixton. 

We also want to test some of the real life situations that might face Brixton Works when it goes live. How will it strike a balance between the commercial and social? In other words, the need to stay afloat versus the need to keep rents ‘affordable’. How will it handle the tension between the need for affordable space and the need to generate a surplus so Brixton Works can grow and take on more space? We need to work though these questions to be sure Brixton Works has a sound sense and will function whatever comes our way from the Tories in central government.

At this stage we do not know where the first Brixton Works workspace will be, or whether it will be only one space. Different options will have different levels of commercial vs. social benefit. The challenge for the Brixton Works steering group will be to work out the risk which can be accommodated and what will help Brixton Works to grow and deliver a better deal for Brixton, a better chance to cross subsidise start ups and social enterprises here in Brixton.

There are three workshops this week, all to be held at the Impact Hub in POP Brixton. Anyone who has experience or an interest in making the economy more social and sustainable, anyone who brings a commercial perspective but values the Brixton economy and ecosystem is more than welcome.

Workshop 01: Tuesday 16 February 1-2 PM

Workshop 02: Tuesday 16 February 6.30-7.30 PM

Workshop 03: Wednesday 17 February 8.30-9.30 AM

Impact Hub Brixton

POP Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road

London

SW9 8PQ

 

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Author: jackhopkins

Labour Councillor for Oval ward in London Borough of Lambeth, and Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth covering economic development, regeneration, planning and entrepreneurship. (formerly Community Safety) Interested in partnerships, training and development, social mobility and Arsenal.

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