Brent’s Meanwhile Use Strategy was approved by Cabinet in February 2021 and aims to increase the number of projects across the borough to support small businesses, diversify the high street and engage local communities.
The 10 actions below explain how we plan to deliver the strategy but also emphasise there is a lot to do to make it happen. New guidance for Meanwhile Use Providers, more collaboration with landlords, work by Town Centre Managers, Meanwhile Use feasibility studies for phased major developments – and lots more.
A brief outline of the key actions can be read below:
- Establish Meanwhile Provider guidance and a preferred provider list.
- Raise awareness and promote meanwhile uses to owners of vacant land and property, landlords, developers, start-ups, micro and SME businesses, business associations, ward members, town teams and community groups across the borough.
- Consider a discretionary business rates relief for meanwhile uses.
- Coordinate Town Centre Manager (TCM) networks and intelligence, together with National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) data, to target meanwhile uses in vacant properties in priority town centres and on the high street
- Implement draft Local Plan policy for robust meanwhile use feasibility studies for phased major developments. Proactively engage with owners of vacant development sites to facilitate/realise meanwhile uses to test out commercial uses.
- Mitigate the risks of meanwhile use through effective pre and post project planning.
- Inform and direct meanwhile use projects into vacant Council assets and developments.
- Create/facilitate meanwhile projects that focus on creative, enterprise and workspace uses to fill vacant properties in priority town centres and on the high street.
- Work with Council licencing to activate temporary pop ups and spaces in town centres and high streets (in private and Council owned assets).
- Explore options for strategic area based partnerships where providers are selected to take on multiple units on a sub-borough or borough wide basis.