Project goals and what we hope to achieve:
We are a community-interest company that wants to enshrine the significance of this 107 year old Grade 2 listed building for the benefit of all Londoners. We have a self funding plan, working with London's top developers, architects, space planners, supported by Locality and Article 25. By utilising Section 106 and Local Infrastructure Grant as well as considerable private and social investment we will develop the fire station into a flagship Westminster Women's Resilience Centre, offering: * a community owned and run café * affordable rent flats for key workers * a vibrant art centre showcasing the talent of Westminster's diverse constituency * a state of the art business and conference centre * a People's Town Hall * affordable housing for key workers living in the Tri borough area, * services for all women, including a crèche and childcare centre, * a refuge for women who have survived domestic violence, * an accredited training centre for women who want to enter the construction industry * subsidized space for charities and social enterprises run by women * a Fire Station Museum celebrating the history of the building, operated by former firemen, teaching Westminster's young people fire health and safety * luxury flats, for sale only to Londoners, who pay UK taxes and work in London *retail space, a pop up shop and cultural events reflecting the cool capital and enterprise owned and run by Londoners. The community spaces such as the café and People's Town Hall will be open to men, who are an essential part of building a safe, inclusive and vibrant community. This is a space for co-opting the brilliance of London, its citizens' natural talents and building the best and brightest future for women and men alike. OUR BIG PLAN Employing homeless people and ex offenders supervised by qualified builders, we’ll bring back into use for the community a Grade II listed former fire station for a social enterprise hub. A cafe serving locally sourced food, resilience training center and a gallery of “outsider” art particularly by women who have suffered trauma or violence will become a social nerve center for the community, hosting a year round curriculum of cultural events. This ideas store for learning and the transfer of skills and knowledge will teach traditional disciplines and modern skills from carpentry to computer literacy. The center’s ethos of inclusivity will extend into the community to rebuild social bonds, into car parks and shopping arcades to socialize the perspective of the “outsider” and those considered to be most vulnerable or disenfranchised by asking the wider community to question our own preconceptions about how we view “others”. By accessing valuable tools and resources for themselves, such as internet facilities, reduced rates on business services, housing and benefits advice, small self contained studio accommodation for the business traveler or visitor, community gains a sense of stewardship for the center and will want to support its paid for facilities which allows the center to become self sustaining. There will be volunteering opportunities and paid work within the social enterprise spin offs launched by the hub. This pilot will be measured for impact and outcomes from the onset, as if it is successful it could be a model for building social enterprise hubs across the UK.
Why this project is important:
The project is important because it will inform the cost efficiency of various interventions and inform best practices in the co location of services, through managed and controlled data sharing, a common purpose, aligned visions. It will give the wider community an opportunity, beyond volunteering, to learn what re entry feels like for those who have suffered trauma or domestic violence. The point of the centre is to rebuild damaged social bonds and extend its message of justice, equality and compassion for all who live as responsible and contributing members of society, regardless of past transgressions or social class. This will build community resilience and increased outcomes for those who have suffered multiple exclusion.
What do you need?:
A brilliant resilient board, with good Westminster and London connections.
Planners, mentors, petitioners, advocates, champions and connectors.
When will this project be carried out?
Monday, May 5, 2014
Tuesday, May 5, 2015