Our Approach

Meanwhile Space CIC is the pioneering social enterprise at the forefront of Meanwhile uses, creating vibrant communities by bringing temporarily redundant space into productive use.


Meanwhile Space unlocks underused space for the benefit of community cohesion, placemaking and enterprise. This is typified by finding wasted space, transforming unloved visible, interesting, dilapidated, difficult buildings, into something useful.


People starting out struggle to find space to start and grow their creative or social enterprise. Meanwhile Space brings vacant assets into use for affordable and easy access space for startup enterprises, communities, and better places. 


Meanwhile Space’s model reduces the financial risk to individuals, which encourages entrepreneurship and reduces the financial burden for those who are financially excluded. This increases the time individuals can give to develop their enterprise without accruing big liabilities, and results in creating more jobs for themselves and others. This also increases the diversity of business and services, and the involvement of communities in their local area.

Our beneficiaries include seed and startup development stage businesses who require affordable space with flexible terms and support to thrive (or fail).

 And local communities in typically neglected areas, who gain from facilities, activities and services that improve community cohesion, skills and access to employment.

The following three processes define what is unique to Meanwhile Space projects:

  1. Unlocking underused space

  2. Extensive on the ground engagement

  3. Opportunity to flourish/fail

By 2017, Meanwhile Space had supported over 600 people into space and created 229 jobs in predominantly deprived town centre neighbourhoods. Our team has a proven track record in London Boroughs including Haringey, Waltham Forest, Brent, Lambeth, Lewisham, Sutton, Hillingdon, Croydon, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Southwark, as well as Hastings, working with multiple stakeholders in a considered and nurturing way to achieve maximum impact.

Download (PDF): An Introduction to Meanwhile Space

The Team

Emily 4.jpg

Emily Berwyn (Director)

Alison Minto
Eddie Bridgeman

Eddie Bridgeman (Director)

Alex Lauschke
Diana Grisales
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Ify Offiah (on maternity leave)

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Nikki Van Grimbergen


Dochka Hristova

Certified Social Enterprise Badge - Circ


Willesden Green Shortlisted in the Great British High Street awards Rising Star category (2019) Queens Parade as contributor to Innovation category

NatWest SE100 Index (2019) Top 100 Social Enterprises

Finalist for the Hubble Office of the Future Awards (2019) Tripod, Brixton

RIBA London Award (2018) Central Parade, Walthamstow

Haringey Design Awards Best Regeneration Finalist (2018) Blue House Yard, Wood Green

New London Architecture Awards Meanwhile Use Commendation (2018) Blue House Yard, Wood Green

European Prize for Urban Public Space 25 Finalists (2018) Blue House Yard, Wood Green

MacEwen Award Commended (2018) Blue House Yard, Wood Green

Civic Trust Awards 140 Regional Winner (2018) Blue House Yard, Wood Green

WISE 100 (2017) Emily Berwyn, Director, Meanwhile Space

Estates Gazette Collaborators Award Finalist (2017) The Platform, Lougborough Junction

New London Awards Mayors Prize Winner (2017) Central Parade, Walthamstow

Waltham Forest Design Awards Winner, Most Creative Building Re-Use (2017) Central Parade, Walthamstow

BPF Tomorrow’s Leaders Innovation Award Winner (2017) Emily Berwyn, Director, Meanwhile Space

UK Social Enterprise Consumer Facing Award Finalist (2015)

DCLG’s Great British High Street Award Finalist (2014) Coming Soon Club, Wembley

SE100 Growth Award Finalist (2013)

Regeneration & Renewal Boosting High Street Vitality Award Winner (2012), Queens Parade, Willesden Green 

Luton’s Best Community Award Winner (2009), Luton

Our work on Meanwhile use was highlighted in The Portas High Street Review for Central Government as a way to help make town centres more vibrant places.


Our spaces have featured extensively in the media, including the BBC, Guardian, Evening Standard, Conde Nast, Architecture Journal, Time Out and Sunday Times.