Lambeth Council is throwing open its doors to local businesses in a ground-breaking move to transform the Town Hall into a community enterprise centre.
Organisers of the Impact Hub Brixton are calling on would-be entrepreneurs from across the community to seize the opportunity to use the borough’s flagship building as the “headquarters” of their new enterprises.
Brixton’s Hub will offer flexible, affordable access to office facilities on a membership basis, within the Town Hall. It will be targeted at a range of small concerns and social ventures, including start-ups, community enterprises, consultants and freelancers. Members will also be encouraged to collaborate with the organisers to help design the new facilities, which will include at least 40 desk spaces, meeting areas and space for a programme of regular events.
Members will be linked up to a network of more than 7,000 counterparts in more than 50 Impact Hubs around the world – stretching from South Africa and Brazil to Australia and the United States.
The first initiative was established in Islington in 2005 and the city now has two more Impact Hubs, in King’s Cross and Westminster. London’s Hub members include social investment companies, an initiative supporting women entrepreneurs in the fashion and textiles industry, and coffee importers.
Brixton’s own Impact Hub will offer memberships from a few hours a week to unlimited time every month, in the centre of Brixton and close to the Tube and Brixton Market. “Founding members”, who come forward to help plan the Hub and get it up and running, will qualify for a reduction in membership costs for the first 3 months.
Councillor Jackie Meldrum, deputy leader of Lambeth Council and Cabinet Member for Employment & Enterprise, said: “The Town Hall is Lambeth’s flagship building, and it is vital that we get the maximum use out of it for everyone. The Impact Hub is an exciting way to open the Town Hall’s facilities to people struggling to get their businesses off the ground.
“Lambeth is a diverse borough with an enormous amount of untapped talent. The Impact Hub offers an opportunity for everyone to collaborate and nurture that talent to create productive and useful enterprises to benefit the whole community.”
Entrepreneurs who are interested in taking part in Impact Hub Brixton can contact organisers, at brixtonimpacthub.net. They can also can find out more about the scheme at two “Vision Workshops” at the Town Hall tonight, Wednesday 5 March, and Monday 10 March, from 7-8.30pm.
The Impact Hub will be established on a trial basis from April, as part of the Cooperative Council’s overall plans to allow local residents greater access to the Town Hall. The Your New Town Hall project, which will dramatically reduce the number of office buildings occupied by the Council, includes a commitment to provide space for start-up businesses and other local enterprises within the Town Hall itself.
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