South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have teamed up with Makespace Oxford to launch a new £1.7m project that will revitalise vacant shops across Oxfordshire.
Named ‘Meanwhile in Oxfordshire…’, the project aims to transform boarded up streets and empty shops into vibrant places for artists, makers, independent retailers and purpose-driven community organisations.
Some buildings will form community hubs, bringing together a range of organisations spanning different sectors all under one roof.
These buildings will be refurbished, fitted with energy efficiency improvements and upgraded to meet local needs. This will reflect the unique character of each place, drawing visitors and delivering benefits to their local communities.
Funding for the programme has been secured through a capital grant from the government’s Getting Building Fund via the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), coordinated by Oxford City Council with Oxfordshire’s District Councils.
Jess Harvey, chair of the Makespace Oxford board, said: meanwhile
‘…I’ve experienced first hand the difference affordable workspace connected to like-minded organisations can make to our work and wellbeing.
[We’re] delighted to have the opportunity to broaden its impact and help hundreds more organisations across Oxfordshire access space…’
We’re working to identify vacant buildings and establish short-term leases with owners in urban centres most impacted by the pandemic. Leases will range from very short term ‘pop-ups’ to multi-year arrangements, revitalising buildings awaiting longer term redevelopment.
Makespace Oxford are keen to speak to landlords and possible occupiers of vacant high street units across South and Vale.
If this is of interest, please get in touch with the team by clicking on the links below.