Meanwhile Opportunity in Waterloo: Time for something incredible

We have a good track record of supporting innovative meanwhile uses which go on to even greater success. Lower Marsh presents a fabulous opportunity for something quite incredible. A prime location, good support and some creativity to provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities could make your name. 

meanwhile space.jpg

There is a fantastic opportunity right now in Waterloo for a creative and entrepreneurial partner to work with Lambeth and the wider community in Waterloo to do something brilliant over the next 2 years.

As the Waterloo Library on Lower Marsh moves to new premises down the road we don’t want the building to go unused so are out to tender for a two year meanwhile space opportunity at 114-118 Lower Marsh.

Lower Marsh sits within one of our most successful Business Improvement Districts, WeAreWaterloo just south of Waterloo Station. Indeed this site has the potential as a gateway through into the vast empty spaces being developed underneath Waterloo station, some of which is also being used on a meanwhile basis by The Vaults, recently crowned Lambeth’s Business of the Year.

I am doing everything I can in my role as Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth to create opportunities for business growth and jobs – making spaces available, providing support for start ups or entrepreneurs or building partnerships which attract visitors, interest and investment to our neighbourhoods and the businesses already located there.

Unlike private developers who, according to a recent analysis are sitting on enough land to build 600,000 homes across the country, we are trying to make sure that we make full use of spaces, even if its only for a short while on a temporary basis.

We have a good track record in Lambeth of making meanwhile space work, sometimes perhaps becoming victims of our own success in some cases.

Many of you will have heard of POP Brixton which is a business park in the heart of Brixton which has created hundreds of jobs and supported local startups with a home, as well as giving back in a big way to the wider community. Indeed Impact Hub Brixton, itself originally a meanwhile use in the basement of the Town Hall has moved in there to form part of a vibrant business community bringing more life and footfall to what was arguably a neglected part of the town centre. Over 70% of the businesses in POP are by Lambeth people and 20% are affordable or free rents, subsidised by other. POP has had 400,000 visitors since opening its doors last summer.

Brixton Village itself when it was down on its uppers was about the Council supporting new businesses to locate into empty shops and breathe live into what had become a ghost town. The principle about investing in our borough to generate opportunities for local people is still one we are committed to.

Loughborough Junction has recently received £1.6m of money from the GLA to provide employment and jobs at Loughborough Farm and some of the empty Network Rail arches off the back of a meanwhile use we established a couple of years ago. The commitment is for 20 years so meanwhile can often turn into something more permanent if it can demonstrate the value it’s bringing.

For further information and instructions on how to respond, please see the brief attached.  I am really excited to see the proposals that come forward.

Please note we will be holding site visits on Wednesday 17th February and Wednesday 24th February. If you would like to visit the building on one of these dates, please email my colleague Nathan Vasey to arrange a convenient time.

Please feel free to forward the brief on to your networks if you feel the opportunity may suit another organisation you know.

114-118 Meanwhile Use ITT (final)



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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