3VA has a strong commitment to co-location, understanding the benefits of the ease with which one individual/organization can access a range of services/support, but also the back-office benefits such as sharing costs, experience, information and support. Furthermore, there are opportunities in enabling groups that reside and work together to use this with own development and enterprise.
3VA ourselves has been on the lookout for alternative space in the Lewes District at least, for more than a year, however we have been constrained by the lack of affordable, good quality space. We are also aware through our work that these frustrations are felt by a number of organizations that would like to progress/expand/reduce their maintenance costs but are constrained by the lack of suitable premises available.
If your organisation is looking for premises locally, whether you feel your premises is simply unsuitable or you are looking to expand or contract – please get in contact. The more information we have, the more able we are to work together on a solution. Please contact Katherine Perrin, Head of Development at email@example.com or 01323 639 373 outlining who you are, what you are looking for and why.
We’d like to thank all the organizations who have contacted us so far – please keep the responses coming.
3VA have been a key voluntary sector partner at the SPACES project meeting, which is looking at public sector assets across East Sussex and identifying opportunities for rationalization, co-location and non-statutory use. We have been keen to advocate the benefits of a community hub in these forums.
In the Lewes District, we have been involved in the St Annes Old School Site project work which is seeking to secure community use of the grounds and piloting the practical application of Localism Act around asset use and devolving power locally. The community use of St Anne's is now up and running - please click here for more information.
We also identified the unique opportunities presented by the sale of the Magistrates Court in Lewes and approached a number of key partners, including Lewes District Council, East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police (as the SPACES project Chair) and Norman Baker MP. Unfortunately, the constraints of the conditions of sale were not able to be overcome in the short timeframe; however, we are actively seeking other opportunities.
In Eastbourne we have been working with Eastbourne Borough Council around the future location of our offices, where we are keen to utilize the potential move from Saffrons Road to build a community hub. We have also been representing the voluntary and community sector as part of the Town Centre Group, making an application to be a Portas Pilot for regeneration and other future planning. Opportunities within this include community hub building, as well as innovative use of service delivery and empty space.
In Wealden we are working with the SPACES subgroup in Crowborough to advocate for community use and add our local intelligence to support this becoming a reality.