June 2012 - A centre community
One of the most exciting parts of being Sales and Development Manager at Ethical Property is setting up new centres. When a new project is taking shape, it’s me who sets out to generate interest from potential tenants. The task can seem somewhat challenging. Take our new project, the Social Justice Centre. We need to fill over 25,000 sq ft of office space, equivalent to between 30 – 40 organisations. That’s a lot of interest to generate!
However challenging, it is always a satisfying task, enabling interaction with a wide range of innovative & interesting organisations. It never fails to amaze me how many groups there are, each working in a different way to challenge inequality and social disparity. Bringing these groups together, to benefit from a landlord who shares their values and to become more than the sum of their parts, is a fantastic opportunity.
Opportunity for shared resources to save costs; shared learning to speed up organisational development; networking within the sector... Added to this, the centre is designed with a variety of public spaces, giving potential for groups to increase the profile of their own work, and to promote other relevant campaigns and issues within society.
In my head, I have a clear vision of what the centre could become. Passersby popping in, learning a little of what goes on inside; hosting key conferences on specific issues; organisations with common aims working together on projects. Even staff working in similar organisations sharing experiences over coffee!
Yet each time I start to let my imagination run away, I stop myself. Not because this vision isn’t possible. But because it’s not what I think the centre should be that will drive its direction or ethos. It’s what those unique, innovative groups who will occupy the space think! We’ll be spending the next year talking to groups, creating a community before the space itself is finished. This community will input into how the centre should feel, and drive what it can achieve.
Look out for more updates as this community grows. And if you want to be part of the conversation, get in touch!
Janine Woodwood is Sales and Development Manager at Ethical Property.