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Enterprising Whitechapel - creating spaces for flexible/affordable workspace in the town centre

Meanwhile use is the temporary use of buildings or land for a socially beneficial purpose, until such time as it can be brought back into a permanent commercial use again. The council will facilitate the delivery of vacant buildings in an operational standard for workspace providers to take on and operate.

Community uses and start-up businesses add identity and diversity to an area, however lack of affordable space can stand in the way of fledgling schemes. Meanwhile use projects like Enterprising Whitechapel can help break through these barriers, allowing innovation to flourish.

Workspace providers will be asked to deliver social outputs in return for access to flexible and affordable space, including but not limited to the creation of new jobs and apprenticeships, activities and events to activate the town centre, and the promotion of health & wellbeing for local resident and businesses.

All proposals will need to demonstrate a viable business case to ensure that operators can be self-sustaining for the duration of the project.

Finally, the Whitechapel Delivery Team’s primary aim is that the regeneration of Whitechapel benefits local residents and businesses.  Meanwhile activities that can be demonstrated to provide real local benefits will be prioritised.

The Whitechapel Vision Delivery Team
Enterprising Whitechapel and the High Street Fund

The Whitechapel Vision Delivery Team is a multidisciplinary regeneration team at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, encompassing skills in town planning, urban design, economic development and public health.  It was set up to progress delivery projects within the Whitechapel Vision Masterplan boundary.

The role of the team is to attract investment and deliver initiatives which enable positive growth in the area and allow Whitechapel to adapt and benefit from change arising from the coming of Crossrail and major local development projects.  The team also seeks to facilitate employment growth through working with local residents groups, strategic partners and other departments within the Council.

To help achieve these goals, the team submitted a bid to the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund initiative and was awarded funding to be applied to the provision of flexible/affordable workspace in the town centre, tackling a well-documented lack of such space in the area.  The Council is working with partners to identify currently empty or underused buildings and bring them back into use as productive space for small- or medium-sized enterprises.  This will focus on buildings which are planned for redevelopment in the medium to long term but which have potential for creative reuse for fixed periods.

The High Street Fund is the latest in a series of programmes that support London’s High Street places to grow and improve.  Building on previous funds, the High Street Fund promotes the diversification of high streets and their potential to accommodate broader uses such as productive working spaces, homes and culture.


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