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.

  • Isle of Ulva
    Community campaigners buy their island.
  • Marine Dream Hub
    Coastal hub brings together marginalised communities to make the most of their marine environment and boost their local economy.
  • Islington Community Wealth Building
    Islington, with some of the richest and poorest residents in the country, aims to build a more democratic economy.
  • East End Trades Guild
    Alliance of 300 small businesses and independent traders takes on landlords and big business.
  • Portpatrick Harbour
    Community shares helped a struggling village revive its harbour.
  • Rock House
    A community-rooted development company transformed a run-down office block into a creative, collaborative, mixed-use hub.
  • Scallywags nursery
    Parents collaborate with skilled staff to provide high-quality affordable care at this well-established nursery.
  • B4RN: Broadband for the Rural North
    Not-for-profit community benefit society provides one of the world's fastest broadband services.
  • 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.