DIY Space for London is go!

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diy space cards

Today is the UK elec­tion, and while I dearly hope we get rid of the Tories and all their terrible policies tomor­row, I also have some­thing excit­ing to announce.

For quite a while now, I’ve been part of the DIY Space for London co-op, work­ing to open a non-profit, co-oper­at­ively run access­ible music, art and gener­al creativ­ity & activ­ism venue in London along the lines of Wharf Cham­bers in Leeds. Oper­at­ing in London has raised its own unique chal­lenges. Most projects of this nature in other places can find a build­ing and have trouble rais­ing the money. We had the oppos­ite prob­lem- we had an incred­ible amount of good­will, and people kept giving us money, but we had trouble spend­ing it. London is in the middle of an uncon­trol­lable prop­erty boom, and we had immense trouble find­ing anywhere suit­able. Places went imme­di­ately, had resid­en­tial neigh­bours or plans to build flats in unsuit­able places that would imme­di­ately result in noise complaints, had legal issues or wanted ridicu­lously huge depos­its.

A little while ago we found a large indus­tri­al unit in SE London, just off the Old Kent Road (the cheapest Mono­poly square in the UK edition). It’s ideal, being in an afford­able area that isn’t in the middle of nowhere, having no resid­en­tial neigh­bours, and being essen­tially a blank slate for us to do as we like with. The co-op have sat on the news until today though, because we had to wait until all the bureau­cracy and legal aspects were handled, and we had the keys. Today we got the keys, so DIY Space for London is going to become a real­ity this summer. The blank slate aspect though means that we will need a lot of help with fitting it out before open­ing up. If you’re in London and want to help out, see the post on the website here for more details.

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