You need a room to change the world: some open spaces in London and Manchester
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world", said the anthropologist Margaret Mead. "Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has". But what they often need to start with a well-lit and spacious room to gather those citizens (and their thoughts) together.
We're always on the look out for them in the course of A/UK's activities - and it's good to come across a helpful list. This list below is from a project called CommonHouse in London (btw, they need your crowdfunding help for a September deadline - click here).
LARC, Whitechapel: long-standing, collectively run building providing space and resources for people and groups working on self-organised, non-hierarchical projects for radical social change.
The HIVE, Dalston: an independent social space for people to get involved and open to new ideas for talks, workshops, performances or exhibitions.
no.w.here Project Space, Bethnal Green: down the road from Common House, no.w.here has opened up a studio space for community/activist usage.
Sylvia’s Corner, Stratford: Focus E15 Campaign was awarded some funding to rent an office/social hub to be used for progressive campaigns to build a housing movement in East London. This space is at the early stages of being developed. As the funding will run out, the campaign is looking for a couple of other groups who would help share the costs of renting this space.
London HackSpace, Bethnal Green: a community-run workshop where people come to share tools and knowledge.
London Bike Kitchen, Hoxton: an open DIY workshop where you can work on your own bike, we help you fix it.
The Field, New Cross Gate: a space run along similar lines as Common House, open for use by activist, political and community groups and hosts a variety of events & classes:
DIY Space for London, Old Kent Road: a cooperatively run social & cultural centre, just off the Old Kent Road.
56A Infoshop, Walworth: volunteer-run, 100% unfunded DIY-run social centre and extensive radical archive. Shares the space with Fareshares whole foods co-op and a free D.I.Y bicycle repair space.
MayDay Rooms, Fleet Street: archive, resource and safe haven for social movements, experimental and marginal cultures and their histories.
[We must also mention one of the most supportive and exciting collective space in London, Newspeak House]
We've also been alerted to Partisan in Manchester. They self-describe as:
...A space for independent, community led, DIY and cultural based projects in Manchester. As a co-operative, Partisan is democratically owned and managed by the people who work in and use the space.
There are two areas in our space, a social space upstairs and a gig venue downstairs. Both can be used for free by community and independent cultural groups for meetings, exhibitions, film screenings, book launches, parties and gigs.
Being child friendly and accessible makes us more inclusive than many similar spaces. Revenue generated by music events and the café-bar will subsidise the free use of the space.