Call out for operators of a makerspace and community kitchen

Written by Future Brixton

May 5, 2016
Categories: ,

Meanwhile Space CIC and Lambeth Council are delighted to issue this call out for operators of a 1) a makerspace workshop and 2) a food business incubator/community kitchen as part of an affordable workspace project in Loughborough Junction, currently referred to as LJ:Works.

The project:

Loughborough Junction is a local centre in Lambeth with its own train station, several bus routes, and a 15 minute walk from Brixton Underground Station. There is significant opportunity to increase the provision of housing, employment and local facilities while improving the quality of the environment and enhancing the area’s sense of identity. To avoid piecemeal interventions and realise this opportunity, a masterplan is currently being produced in partnership with the local community. As an early phase of this, the council, in partnership with local people and organisations, has secured funding from the GLA’s London Regeneration Fund (LRF) to create affordable workspace on a council-owned site between Styles Gardens and Rathgar Road. It is one of eight major capital projects being funded across the capital as part of the LRF programme.

The council will commit the land to the project for 20 years and use LRF investment to build affordable employment space. The indicative concept design work required to accompany the bid (download available below) demonstrates the broad potential for the site, using affordable construction methods to provide approximately 1,800sqm of employment space, consisting of a mix of office, studio and co-working spaces, a food incubator/community kitchen and a commercial makerspace. As the site operator, Meanwhile Space are committed to promoting the opportunity of “cheap and flexible” space to the local community.

The project will also secure the future of the Loughborough Farm community food growing project, which has developed informally on the site over the last two years. This would be achieved by making productive use of roof space, hard standing and incidental landscaping on site. Staffed by volunteers, the farm would make the employment-led site accessible to the wider community, fostering social interaction, developing skills, and bringing health and wellbeing benefits to local residents and employees alike.

Training opportunities will be maximised throughout the construction process by linking in with Lambeth College’s apprenticeship programme, as well as involving the community in building structures, furniture and growing beds associated with the farm. Businesses would be encouraged to offer skills and training workshops as part of a volunteering scheme, built into their tenancy agreements. In turn, tenants would benefit from on-going training and business support services, provided by local organisations the Green Man Skills Zone and Tree Shepherd, helping fledgling businesses develop into successful and sustainable companies. Tree Shepherd will be given space on-site to work intensively with new businesses and leverage additional funding to expand the training and business development offer and work with entrepreneurial residents of the adjacent housing estate.

To this end Meanwhile Space CIC, the council and the project partners will work with local residents over a number of years to increase their skills and capacity. When ready, management of the site would be transferred to a community-based company, securing long-term stewardship of the site by those who stand to benefit from it.

The opportunity:

We are looking for two operators:

  • The commercial makerspace will provide affordable and flexible space to accommodate individuals, start-ups and SMEs operating as a business, as opposed to more traditional hobbyist spaces. We envisage that the space and equipment will allow for a range of production activities to operate from the space.
  • It is envisaged that the food business incubator/community kitchen will provide affordable and flexible space for food production/catering businesses. We envisage that these will form a mix of individuals, start-ups and SMEs.

The LRF investment and other capital funds will be used to provide ‘shell and core’ spaces to accommodate both the makerspace and food business incubator/community kitchen operators, who will then be responsible for the fit-out. The project is about to enter the design phase and early appointment of these key tenants is sought in order to allow them to inform the design.

Find out more:

Further information is supplied in the supplementary bid document and the clarifications and additions document.


Find out more about the space, evaluation and selection criteria and other considerations.

Submit your proposal here before 5pm on Wednesday 1 June 2016.

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