Twenty-two Norwich community groups join forces to seek a new
Twenty-two (22) Norwich community groups – charities and social enterprises – have been brought together by Norwich Eco Hub to join forces in a ground-breaking initiative to create a shared space for community activity, arts, social and environmental wellbeing. Under the working title Norwich Unity Hub, they are identifying suitable premises to develop a transformative space where they can survive, thrive, collaborate, and amplify their positive impact on Norwich.
Several factors have driven this initiative. Some of the groups have reached that stage where they need a first place of their own, or to affordably expand from where they are now; others will soon be given notice to quit. Their short- term leases will end soon because of the redevelopment of Anglia Square and surrounding area.
The groups represent a range of sectors but with common interests, including skill development, making, arts, environmental sustainability and wellbeing. The plan is to find a suitable City centre space, ideally for around 1858 sq. metres, (20,000 sq. ft) to share and grow our ideas, skills and expertise, and offer people in Norwich and Norfolk exciting opportunities to be involved.
Ian Blunnie, representing Norwich Men’s Shed on the group, said “We realise it may be difficult to find that amount of space on one site, so split sites would be considered. We hope to find such a building or buildings either for an initial period of token rent, during which time we would fundraise collectively to support restoration and refit. Alternatively by agreeing a “meanwhile let” while we get ready for a permanent home”
In steering this initiative Norwich Unity Hub recognises the importance of accessibility and inclusivity. Another member of Norwich Unity Hub, Kirstin Leigh, a trustee of Outpost, an Norwich art studio complex ( based in Anglia Square) said that the new premises will be designed to accommodate diverse needs, ensuring that people from all walks of life can actively participate in community activities, events, and programmes.
Steve Wiseman, Director of Norwich Eco Hub, said. We’re well aware that a number of large spaces in the City Centre have remained unoccupied over many years, and the groups have compiled a longlist and hope to be able to view some in the coming weeks. We’re pleased that some Norwich City Councillors and staff, together with local estate agents, have provided some initial support”.
“If anyone hearing about our needs has any commercial property in mind, do please get in touch by emailing email@example.com”
By enabling the continuity and mutual improvement of all their services, the initiative will offer opportunities for social and environmental wellbeing for the communities in the City and beyond as conditions inevitably become more challenging, and this will contribute to the Norwich 2040 City Vision.