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Open Doors | Bradford, Kettering, Rochford, Slough & Stoke-on-Trent | Community Space

Bradford, Stoke-on-Trent, Kettering, Slough & Rochford

Timeline: 2019 to 2020

Open Doors

A pilot scheme matching landlords struggling to find tenants for their empty properties with community groups looking for space.

The Pilot

Project dates: Spring 2019 - Spring 2020

Funded by MHCLG Open Doors is a pilot scheme taking place in five areas, matching landlords struggling to find tenants for their empty properties with community groups looking for space. The pilots will be directly managed by the independent charity, Meanwhile Foundation in partnership with Meanwhile Space CIC, chosen for its existing work and experience in operating a brokerage service matching vacant premises with community groups looking for space to work.

Through these partnerships and with the support of the landlords, 5 vacant spaces on high streets across England, have been opened up for local people to test community focused ideas that could make positive use of a high street space and involve bringing people together.

Call for community uses to activate the space

We welcome a broad range of community-orientated ideas and proposals that could make positive use of this high street space. The ideas don't have to be fully formed at this stage - this is a chance to test them out in a supportive space. Meanwhile Space is open to discussing proposals and the way in which they are programmed, e.g. one-off events, regular events, pop up slots, to make them purpose-fit for the spaces. The space is offered free of charge to successful applicants.

The spaces

The government ran an open call for landlords of vacant space to take part in a pilot scheme to help regenerate the high street and support community groups. More information about this open call can be found here.

The 5 pilot sites chosen are located in Bradford, Stoke-on-Trent (Fenton), Kettering, Rochford and Slough and will be activated for a period of up to 12 months.

The spaces are offered free of charge to individuals and organisations who would like to test their ideas, deliver their projects and bring positive social change to the high street.

Each space will be simply refurbished to deliver a bright, approachable and positive space with plants, comfy chairs, desks and lockers to get community groups started. Space branding and design has been delivered at each site by Studio ND

For more info or to talk to someone about applying for space please email To learn more about the community activities happening in each space please visit the relevant facebook page:


Trustee of Meanwhile Foundation, Emily Berwyn said:

"The Meanwhile Foundation exists to support community groups to bring facilities and services into more visible spaces on an interim basis.

This process can be daunting, but Open Doors is showing how supporting community meanwhile uses on high streets all over the country can bring vibrancy to underused spaces and a reason for people to come together and enjoy activities."

29 John Street, Bradford

48 High Street, Kettering

283 City Road, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent

(All the Small Things CIC - Open Doors Fenton space user)

Unit 2 Queensmere, Slough

The Kings Head, Rochford



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