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.

  • Scallywags nursery
    Parents collaborate with skilled staff to provide high-quality affordable care at this well-established nursery.
  • The Annexe
    Hartlepool has one of the UK's highest unemployment rates, but new approaches aim to buoy local wealth.
  • Guardians of the Arches
    Railway arch-based small businesses fight for affordable rents.
  • Sovereign Harbour
    Threatened by corporate developers, a fishing community took control of their harbour.
  • B4RN: Broadband for the Rural North
    Not-for-profit community benefit society provides one of the world's fastest broadband services.
  • Islington Community Wealth Building
    Islington, with some of the richest and poorest residents in the country, aims to build a more democratic economy.
  • Marine Dream Hub
    Coastal hub brings together marginalised communities to make the most of their marine environment and boost their local economy.
  • The Clipper
    Local residents bought an empty pub and turned it into the city’s first community-owned market.
  • North West Mutual
    Community bank will help local businesses and individuals neglected by mainstream banks.
  • Space4
    Space4 is a co-working space for social enterprises and worker co-operatives in the digital tech sector.