Charities in Bradford are being urged to snap up free city centre space.
There is room in Arndale House in Charles Street, thanks to an organisation which specialises in creating charity hubs in empty commercial buildings.
This is Centric Community Projects' first foray into Bradford and co-ordinator Charlotte Russo thinks it will bring great rewards.
“This should benefit Bradford in general as many charities can do amazing things with their good works,” said Charlotte, who is based at Centric’s base in Milton Keynes.
Some charities already operate from Arndale House, but Charlotte said: “There is a lot of space left and we are keen to find more groups to join those already in place. All people have to do is get in touch.”
The scheme works by buildings being ‘donated’ to Centric – itself a registered charity – when they become empty.
Charities are allowed to use the space free of charge until owners are able to let the room to profit-making concerns.
“This is brilliant for charities and other non-profit organisations,” said Charlotte. “Some groups have been in situ for three or four years. It gives charities the chance to revolutionise what they are doing.
“For landlords, it means empty buildings do not just become targets for vandals or fall into disrepair.
“Instead, they are buzzing with charities doing good work. It’s a win-win.”
As well as charities, Centric also aims to help community groups, artists and business start-ups by the jobless, disabled or disadvantaged.
“In other buildings we have filled, charities have become friends and started doing projects together with much good work being done as a result,” said Charlotte.
“The space can be used for any charitable activities, for example an admin, office or as a training facility. This is totally free of charge with no rent, rates or utility bills to pay.”
However, those who want a phone line or WI-FI connection have to pay the cost.
Centric works on a six-month basis with 30 days’ notice on either side. If the building/office still has no new businesses starting after the six months, the lease can be renewed for another six months, again with 30 days’ notice. Charities or groups interested in the scheme should contact Charlotte Russo on (01908) 667750 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.