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How To Register Your Interest for the Vacant Building Register

The Whitechapel Vision Delivery Team is creating a Vacant Building Register, to be collated and evaluated with the strategic aim of providing a base of flexible and affordable workspace in the town centre.  Landowners are invited to submit expressions of interest in order to have their vacant or underused buildings considered for capital investment and for temporary use once this is complete.

Whilst preference will be given to spaces above 200sqm / 2150 sq.ft, smaller spaces will be considered. Applications will be assessed on a best value for money basis; this may mean that buildings which require extensive refurbishment in order to achieve a suitable standard are disqualified unless the resulting space presents an offer of significant value.

In order to facilitate a self-sustaining and viable offer, spaces should ideally be available for a minimum of two years, although longer terms are welcomed. They should also be connected to standard services (electricity, plumbing etc.) and access should be made possible outside of normal working hours, subject to strict conditions on noise & nuisance.

The Enterprising Whitechapel project will use capital funds to bring spaces up to a suitable standard, including but not limited to health & safety upgrades, improvements to access and security, and facade treatments.

For more information on the Vacant Building Register and for a fillable Expression of Interest Form, please download the documents linked below.

Why apply?

An empty property can cost its owner a lot of money in maintenance, security, utilities charges and business rates. It can cost event more if it falls into unauthorised use. There are also risks from leaks, fire and vandalism. Properly curated use of vacant or underused buildings can avoid these risks.

  • Flexibility: we ask for a minimum occupancy term of two years. However break clauses would be included in the landlord’s favour to facilitate future redevelopment plans.
  • Utilities costs covered: Bills paid for water, gas and electricity. We do ask that these services have connections within the property.
  • Approved occupiers: The council will require evidence from successful workspace providers to ensure that they hold the necessary insurance to operate the space.
  • Your building will be occupied by working people who care about the appearance and surrounding environment of your property.
  • A variety of uses and working patterns means natural surveillance for your property, giving another advantage over other temporary uses which often give little if any outside evidence of life, especially during the day when occupants are at work.
  • Maintenance: Project funding may be used to refurbish eligible buildings to ensure that health and safety, security and access arrangements are up to suitable standard and properties would be kept in good condition by any temporary occupiers.
  • Occupancy preserves buildings: Damp, lack of ventilation and leaks can cause lasting damage. Through regular use, ventilation, heating in winter and spotting any issues such as leaks, users can help keep your building in good condition.
  • Revitalisation of the area: by re-animating unused buildings, the area. becomes more attractive and vibrant and more people come to work there. The community benefits as a whole, plus some users are specifically charitable or community-use.
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