How To Create a Successful Meanwhile Space

Transforming vacant properties into bustling hubs. Inspiring would-be-entrepreneurs to abandon traditional routes to success. Creating a space that unites communities, revives high streets, and underpins a neighbourhood where people want to live. Whatever the vision, wherever you envision it, we can help you get it right.

Take some time to look inwards, exploring your ‘why’. Do you see yourself as an ethical entrepreneur, passionate about people before profits? Are you looking to shake up the neighbourhood beyond your doorstep? Are you set on starting a business, but don’t want to commit to a long-term contract? By building a clear vision of your goals, your business model, and what you stand for, you’ll begin to carve a path towards success, without compromising on your moral compass.


It’s about immersing yourself in the area, pinpointing who lives there, what they need, and what you can do to bridge that gap. It’s about deep market research, ensuring you’re not going head-to-head with locals-favourites. And it’s about matching your branding to the ‘vibe’ of the neighbourhood. From bringing a vintage meanwhile shop to an artsy area and a bakery pop-up to an affluent residential zone to presenting an exhibition in a tourist hot spot, it’s vital to fit the community’s needs like a glove.


As you make the decision to go all-in to make your meanwhile space a success, bills, fees, and ‘one-offs’ begin to stack up, from the brand-new, state-of-the-art equipment to the expensive signage that you could definitely have done without. Whilst you can enjoy the freedom of not being locked into a long-term contract, it’s crucial to budget carefully, taking time to scale, accounting for contingencies, and nurturing the incubator period, ensuring you don’t risk your cash flow. 


At the heart of the most successful meanwhile-use projects lie change-seekers; innovators; boundary-pushers on a quest to shape futures, mould communities, and breathe life back into unloved areas. By bringing fresh ideas to the not-so-interesting table, from outdoor cinemas, pottery-making classes, and karaoke booths to morphing an empty property into a vibrant table tennis bar, we believe that good great light-bulb moments revive high streets. The more heads you turn, conversations you start, and social media ‘shares’ you incite, the better.


It may be an old cliché, but it’s true – communication is key. From the moment you lock eyes on the meanwhile space, we encourage you to ask your developer all the important questions; how long can you lease the property? What changes can you make? Can it be used for commercial purposes? What if they find a long-term tenant while you’re there? By outlining expectations from the outset and examining your paperwork with a fine-toothed comb, you’ll avoid some nasty surprises. 


We’re not just the driving force behind 80 meanwhile projects. We’re the reason 80 dreams have been realised, 80 businesses have been given the tools to succeed, and 80 empty properties have been awarded a second chance. If you’d like to head project 81, we’re a click away.