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Case Studies

Hive Dalston

This three-storey, disused office block in Hackney, kick-started ReSpace – with just £250 for insurance and fire extinguishers. The project was self-funding and generated savings to the landlord and local community over three years. The Hive featured in documentaries and news stories by Radio 4, BBC Sunday Morning Live, Huffington post, Evening standard, City Metric, Hackney Gazette, Hackney citizen and Positive news.

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  • Building owner, Investland, saved £143k on business rates and £250k saved in maintenance and security = £393,000

  • £565,000 saved by communities on the collective cost of hiring comparable space locally

  • Over its lifespan the Hive saved around £20,000 worth of materials from reaching landfill

Zero LDN 

Zero LDN was a thriving community facility which offered free workshops, events and activities and space to communities around Dalston's Gillett Square. Collaborators worked within the five biggest polluting sectors – food, tech, plastics, buildings, fashion – finding creative ways to reduce waste and encourage reuse. During the first days of the 2020 Lockdown, it also became one of the only mutual aid food hubs in Hackney, which delivered around 25,000 free meals to people in need. 

  • A total of £103,680 saved by local people in the hire of space over a six-month period 

  • Around £10,000 of resources saved for use by the community at Zero LDN over six months 

  • Building owners, Hackney Cooperative Developments, saved nearly £10,000 on basic building security 

Number 19

Our remit at this summer project in Camden was to improve the engagement with local residents and different groups, post-Covid. The whole regeneration of communal areas cost less than £600, supplemented by hundreds of hours of volunteer time, resulting in the creation of signage, staging, seating, portable vegetable patches and a music studio. 

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●  Refit of carpark space, using waste materials to facilitate the safe shared use by resident groups and local people

●  Saved £5000 worth of resources from going to waste locally, by using them to build project facilities 

●  Redistibuted over £3000 of resources and materials to local groups after the project's close

Craftory Workshop

The Craftory project turned a derelict social institute in Newham into a vibrant space for local people and creatives to celebrate the local heritage, hold street parties, grow food and share skills. The Craftory also partnered with the University of East London on the Tate Lives’ Civic Engagement Project to research and celebrate memories about the area. 

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  • An empty council-owned property, which was a source of contention locally, instead ran as a community asset for four years

  • After the project close-down we partnered with Newham on another empty council property in the borough

  • The Craftory housed around 20 people during the course of the project and gave opportunities to hundreds more

New England

We were invited to Peterborough, to help transform a large former social club awaiting redevelopment, into a thriving community hub for a year. The New England was shared and enjoyed by groups and people in an area which has seen previous tensions. It was a truly inspiring project – bringing together diverse communities including artists, local businesses, muslim women's associations, homeless outreach organisations and numerous social groups.  ​

  • Renovated 1/3 of the space in two weeks, for under £1000

  • Local volunteers estimate that around half of the town's homeless population were regular uses of our drop in café

  • New England was the home of a successful climate emergency campaign in Peterborough

Highgate Bowl

For several years this former garden centre in Highgate was disused, fenced-off in disrepair, as owners sought permission to develop and local residents resisted, preferring to keep the green space. ReSpace supported a group of artists who repaired and re-activated the space, with gardens, a public café and free access to workshops, art and musical equipment. The land owners chose to formalise this sustainability art project, regenerating the space into the inspiring Omved Gardens. 

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  • This project helped to improve relations between the owners and local residents, where previously there had been some conflict. Omved has been a successful sustainability arts project since 2017.

  • Highgate Bowl became the immediate recipient of surplus resources from local businesses; and the café had fresh fruit, flowers and bread daily, as well as a selection of locally produced teas and other produce. 

Bush Farm

This unique project reimagines a run-down stable on the outskirts of Fryent Country Part in Brent, as an outdoor social and educational facility for local families. There is an orchard with bee hives, three rescued horses and plans for growing herbs and vegetables. The project is working with the council on longer term plans. 

  • Regular community open days, workshops and events for children and families. 

  • Bush Farm received kitchen facilities and surplus tools from the close-down of Number 19 project in Camden.

  • Bush Farm is a leading community sustainability project in Brent, and a public space enjoyed by thousands.

Cultural Assembly

The Cultural Assembly are an exciting community enterprise based in Southend. Their focus was to create impactful immersive experiences that introduces cutting edge technology to create dialogues and stimulate new ways of thinking. The team behind the Cultural Assembly birthed two projects including the Folded Space and 3rd Space.

  • The Folded Space was a popular highstreet community arts venue, which offered a welcome relief to otherwise empty shop fronts and chain stores

  • 3rd Space, another highstreet community venue, featured a coffee lounge for affordable remote working

  • The Cultural Assembly hosted creative and youth workshops, from dance, spoken word and performance, to augmented reality and immersive technologies

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