Solutions

Create affordable workspaces

Create affordable workspaces

Affordable workspaces are essential to the survival of independent businesses.

The East End Trades Guild Affordable Workspace Manifesto was developed through a democratic process led by its members, and with assistance from the New Economics Foundation. While written for London, where dramatic rent rises are squeezing out independent businesses, many of the measure are relevant to other cities struggling to maintain the diversity of their economic ecosystems.

They include:

A working rent for small businesses
We need a flexible formula of rental affordability for small and micro businesses.

Small business community land trust 
A small business-led community land trust can provide genuinely affordable workspaces for small and micro businesses in perpetuity. CLTs are a viable long-­term solution to the workspace crisis.

Landlords’ register
Create access to comparable rental evidence to support small businesses in keeping rents reasonable, and enable stronger more accountable relationships with commercial landlords.

Policy in practice

Projects that demonstrate the benefits or may be helped by polices like this.

  • B4RN: Broadband for the Rural North
    Not-for-profit community benefit society provides one of the world's fastest broadband services.
  • The Exchange
    This community arts centre has plans for workspaces, exhibition space and housing in neglected local buildings.
  • Isle of Ulva
    Community campaigners buy their island.
  • Sovereign Harbour
    Threatened by corporate developers, a fishing community took control of their harbour.
  • Guardians of the Arches
    Railway arch-based small businesses fight for affordable rents.
  • Grays Riverside
    Thurrock network is strengthening community ties and building local wealth.
  • The Clipper
    Local residents bought an empty pub and turned it into the city’s first community-owned market.
  • Homebaked
    Residents saved their iconic neighbourhood bakery and transformed it into a thriving community run-business.
  • Rock House
    A community-rooted development company transformed a run-down office block into a creative, collaborative, mixed-use hub.
  • East End Trades Guild
    Alliance of 300 small businesses and independent traders takes on landlords and big business.