START HERE Aberfeldy Street gives businesses or individuals the opportunity to start and trial their ideas on the high street. The aim is to develop an active high street that provides opportunities for local people whilst serving the local community.
The START HERE scheme is ideal for businesses and organisations seeking new opportunities in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, by offering: one year rent-free, business support and access to start up funding opportunities with Aberfeldy Big Local.
The scheme accompanies a visual transformation of the street in Poplar. Building frontages have been painted in a patchwork of colours and decorated in patterns inspired by fabrics donated by members of the largely Bangladeshi community in a nod to the Kantha tradition of recycling old textiles to make something new. The intention is to bring colour and artwork onto Aberfeldy Street, to ‘dress’ the existing high street and celebrate the cultural identity of local people.
Improvement works also include new shop signage and increased street lighting to create a safer and more welcoming environment.
START HERE programme details
We’ve outlined the details of the spaces, programme commitments and application criteria in START HERE programme outline (click to download).
Aberfeldy Big Local start-up funding
Successful applicants may also be eligible for Aberfeldy Big Local support to develop their business. Find out more about the available support by contacting Liam Harney on
The START HERE application process is now closed. Selected tenants will move in from September 2020 onwards.
To register interest in the programme, or to enquire about future opportunities, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The START HERE programme is an 18-month temporary intervention which is intended to operate on a meanwhile basis until the street is replaced with commercial units on the Oxbow development. The business development initiative is being led by High Street Works, a multi-disciplinary collaboration between Meanwhile Space CIC and Jan Kattein Architects to deliver a high street revival. The scheme has been commissioned by Aberfeldy LLP, a joint venture between developer EcoWorld London and housing association Poplar HARCA to ensure that whilst works go on around Aberfeldy, the street remains a vibrant community, social and commercial hub.