Central Parade is a mixed use creative hub, including a variety of retail, co-working, studio and exhibition space and a bakery-cafe where events and workshops take place. The transformation of this former council direct centre was funded jointly by the London Borough of Waltham Forest and the Greater London Authority’s High Street Fund and designed by Gort Scott Architects. Operated by Meanwhile Space CIC, the project strives to unlock Walthamstow’s potential as a thriving cultural town centre, supporting multiple creative disciplines and businesses to co-locate, share resources, learn and collaborate. The interim use of this council-owned building actively engages the local community and animates the high street, offering a diverse cultural programme throughout the week and into the evening.
WALTHAM FOREST DESIGN AWARDS 2017
Central Parade, Winner, Most Creative Building Re-Use
Meanwhile Space CIC is the pioneering social enterprise at the forefront of ‘meanwhile uses’. As the market leader in Meanwhile uses since 2009, Meanwhile Space designs innovative Meanwhile® solutions to vacant commercial space, working across sectors to deliver Meanwhile projects and strategies, operate affordable workspace, and deliver longer term Meanwhile developments. The company first defined the term as the ‘intelligent use of unproductive empty buildings and underused land’ and outlined the benefits to communities, landlords and occupants as deliverers of the 2009-10 central government Meanwhile Project.
Meanwhile Space’s approach to community engagement and local regeneration projects involves nurturing a sense of place and distinctiveness through the harnessing of the resource of vacant commercial property. As proven by our network of 11,000 members of our forum, newsletter and social media, there is significant demand for highly visible, low cost, low risk space that allows the ‘opportunity of failure’ for brand new businesses and ideas, which can then grow and feed in to the existing workspace offer.