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.

  • The Clipper
    Local residents bought an empty pub and turned it into the city’s first community-owned market.
  • Isle of Ulva
    Community campaigners buy their island.
  • North Ayrshire Community Wealth Building
    Scotland’s first community wealth building strategy aims to spread prosperity in an area with historically high poverty rates.
  • Save Latin Village
    Small business owners are fighting plans to develop their north London home.
  • Portpatrick Harbour
    Community shares helped a struggling village revive its harbour.
  • Marine Dream Hub
    Coastal hub brings together marginalised communities to make the most of their marine environment and boost their local economy.
  • The Exchange
    This community arts centre has plans for workspaces, exhibition space and housing in neglected local buildings.
  • Islington Community Wealth Building
    Islington, with some of the richest and poorest residents in the country, aims to build a more democratic economy.
  • Homebaked
    Residents saved their iconic neighbourhood bakery and transformed it into a thriving community run-business.
  • Friendly Families nursery
    This brand new nursery provides affordable, child-centered care co-produced by parents and staff.