Three Space for Growth hubs were today approved by Glasgow City Council today (13 June) – providing affordable space from which local social enterprises and community-based organisations can operate to provide social and economic benefit for the city.
Space for Growth hubs are part of the council’s wider Space for Growth strategy, which aims to help and develop start-up businesses, social enterprises, community groups and creative organisations, creating jobs and supporting inclusive economic growth across Glasgow. £275,000 from the council’s Community Asset Fund will support fit-out requirements for the three hubs.
The hubs are to be established in Easterhouse (Westwood Business Centre), Greater Pollok (SWAMP, 25-31 Brockburn Road) and Partick (Partick Burgh Hall). In Westwood Business Centre, Jobs and Business Glasgow will be the lead tenant in that hub, withSouth West Arts and Music Project and Glasgow Life lead tenants in Greater Pollok and Partick respectively.
These three locations were chosen after representatives from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and City Property considered suitable/available accommodation and demand, engaged with Third Sector and social enterprise networks and agreed on the best operating model for multi-occupancy hubs.
Councillor Angus Millar, Depute City Convener for Inclusive Economic Growth at Glasgow City Council, said: “Space For Growth Hubs will support Glaswegian social enterprises and community organisations by giving them affordable space to grow, create jobs and make a positive impact in local communities. Bringing organisations together under Space for Growth presents an opportunity to maximise the social and economic benefit social enterprises and community groups can bring by working together, and ensures we are making better, positive use of buildings and assets owned by the Glasgow City Council family.”
There is interest in the development of other Space For Growth hubs in the city, and this will be considered as the council’s Property and Land Strategy is rolled-out. The Kinning Park Complex, a well-established social enterprise has expressed an interest in working (as head tenant) with the council to support local community organisations and social enterprises by making affordable space available.
The wider Space For Growth strategy has other areas of activity beyond the hubs which support its aims, and first of these is the Community Business Boost, which supports new and expanding local businesses locating in the four highest SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) areas in the city by offering part-funding towards the cost of premises over a two-year period. Seven companies have been supported to date.
Another area of the strategy is the Meanwhile Space programme, where interim or temporary use of a property or piece of land can be made until such a time as the property/land can be brought back to more permanent use. This type of use adds to the vitality of city and town centres, increasing footfall and supporting start-ups and growing businesses. 11 units in the High Street and Saltmarket area were identified as suitable locations, and the first – New Glasgow Society, an art gallery – moved in on 21 May, with the other tenants, primarily from the creative sector, expected to move in over the next few weeks.
The final area of the strategy is the Glasgow Business Step Up, which makes vacant City Property units available to start-up businesses at affordable rates to give them space and time to establish themselves and grow. This particular programme is available to start-ups who can show that they are viable and will bring extra jobs to local communities while not displacing existing local businesses.