Big Issue Invest (BII) has announced a £150,000 investment in Meanwhile Space CIC, a social enterprise that transforms vacant and underused spaces into community hubs for micro-enterprises, the money will help them undergo a major restructure.
BII, the investment arm of the Big Issue Group, has a long-standing relationship with the social enterprise, and has provided £375,000 in loans to Meanwhile Space over the last five years.
Meanwhile Space is a social enterprise that has been operating for 13 years across London and the South East. It creates vibrant communities by bringing temporarily redundant space into productive use. Meanwhile unlocks underused space for the benefit of community cohesion, placemaking and enterprise. This is typified by finding wasted space, transforming unloved visible, interesting, dilapidated, difficult buildings, into something useful.
The enterprise has a successful track record of doing this, with their team operating a total of 180,000 ft2, with over 250 tenants, in over 40 properties. Currently, over 85% of its tenants live in the local area, and its projects are rooted in 14 London Boroughs, primarily in outer London.
The Meanwhile team has a proven track record in London Boroughs, as well as outside London, including Haringey, Waltham Forest, Brent, Lambeth, Lewisham, Sutton, Hillingdon, Croydon, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Southwark, as well as Hastings and North Somerset, working with multiple stakeholders in a considered and nurturing way to achieve maximum impact.
Meanwhile Space’s model reduces the financial risk to individuals, which encourages entrepreneurship and reduces the financial burden for those who are financially excluded. This increases the time individuals can give to develop their enterprise without accruing big liabilities, and results in creating more jobs for themselves and others. This also increases the diversity of business and services, and the involvement of communities in their local area.
Eddie Bridgeman from Meanwhile Space said “Providing affordable and flexible neighbourhood space is our mission, but the economics of doing so are increasingly marginal. We need to increase our in-house skills and improve our processes to maintain affordability for our space users. Support from BII will help us do just that.”
Holger Westphely, Investment Director at Big Issue Invest, said: “The work Meanwhile do is vital to not only bolster the community but provide essential, affordable spaces for new enterprises. Our investment will help Meanwhile to grow their offering. We are really excited to watch them expand and grow from strength to strength.”
To find out more about Big Issue Invest, or how your organisation could receive similar support to Meanwhile Spaces CIC, please visit: https://www.bigissue.com/invest/
To find out more about Meanwhile Spaces CIC, visit their website here: https://www.meanwhilespace.com/about