There are few things worse for the morale of a city centre than empty retail shops or office blocks. When a city such as Bradford is trying its level best to drive forward regeneration and create a thriving centre, empty, monolithic buildings can sap energy from all the effort and good work being done.

So hats off to the Centric Communities Project, which specialises in staging temporary interventions for a dual purpose – not only bringing disused premises back into short-term use but providing a home for charities and voluntary organisations.

It’s one of those ideas so simple yet so brilliant it’s hard to believe someone hasn’t thought of it before. Centric works with building owners to temporarily “acquire” empty blocks which it then invites local groups to inhabit, until such time as the owners of the building can let it out to profit-making companies.

Centric has struck such a deal for Arndale House, in Charles Street, and is now inviting local charities to be a part of it. This helps local groups who would never be able to afford city centre locations set up shop, albeit for a limited time, with no rent or bills (save for phone lines or wi-fi connection) to fork out for.

And it puts disused buildings back into use, which can only be good for the area in general and the building’s owners. Any property left empty for any length of time shows signs of disuse and can be a target for vandals.

It is to be hoped that many local groups take up Centric’s offer and create a thriving community hub in this old building.