What is Project Fabric?A deal has been signed to turn a former police station into a flexible working space. The aim, to make it into a hive of community activity. The program called Fabric will offer community, charity, and small business space in the North Road premises. Creating sustainable jobs in Lancing but also encouraging the new tenants to work together on ideas that can bring new opportunities to the village. With a big emphasis on job creation and business support, this project is looking to transform the local area for the better, working with the community to do this.
Adur District Council has taken a pioneering approach to community rebuilding post-pandemic by signing a deal with cutting-edge coworking and flexible office company Freedom Works to transform the former Police Station, which is based in the heart of Lancing village. What were once 'cells' are now cool office spaces for local businesses to be based.
What's happening?The Council purchased the building last year with the intention of regenerating it for the community. Due to the site's prominence and importance, the Council has pledged to carry out wider community and stakeholder engagement. This is so that residents have a say in the future of the area.
An agency called 'The Ideas Alliance' will work on an initial project. Ensuring that the building is fully integrated into the community of Lancing, embracing residents and organizations to develop the best ways for the new Fabric building, serving the community, and creating employment. Adur District Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Angus Dunn, said, ‘We have taken an innovative approach to community coherence and opportunity with this Fabric project.'
Freedom Works, which already has creative spaces and flexible collaborative workspace in Worthing and Hove among others, will now begin the search for tenants. Looking for businesses who can demonstrate they are enterprises that provide social value for the community which can tangibly benefit. And most importantly have a commitment to Lancing. The reason for this being, the community is at the core of this project. Bringing in a multitude of different businesses into the area will boost the local economy, something Freedom Works has done over multiple areas along the South Coast.
How Project Fabric is helping the local communityWith more people working remotely now and prioritizing employee wellbeing after the Covid-19 lockdowns, Flexible co-working spaces have seen a steady increase of people needing workspaces away from home. It gives people the opportunity to stay local, rather than commuting into the city for work. Flexible working can be an innovative way to take a look at the ways businesses work and understand what is needed, especially if you are just starting out. People are at the heart of the community, to be able to give a flexible working space is a great way to support wellbeing for employers and employees.
New and emerging businesses are likely to be the target for Fabric as well as charities and community groups, who can take advantage of up-to-date low-cost working facilities to grow their business but also have the creativity to contribute ideas collaboratively for the benefit of Lancing, without having to travel to neighboring cities for collaborative spaces. The transformed police station will be a fantastic hub to host community events and promote local businesses.
Getting involvedFreedom Works Managing Director, Jon Trigg, said, ‘We are delighted to sign this deal to transform the old police station. Work starts now both to make it fit for the local community to work from and to ensure we get the right mix of businesses and organizations in it. We want it to be buzzing with activity and also be very, very welcoming to local residents.’
It is hoped Fabric Lancing will be open for business and ideas in late October. Fabric will roll out across the Adur & Worthing Councils area with another scheme set to open across the council border later this year. Any enterprise interested in taking space in Fabric Lancing can contact Freedom Works on 01903 681100 or via their website at https://www.freedomworks.space/locations/lancing-fabric/
This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in the Lancing community, make connections and collaborate!
‘By working with partners and more importantly the residents of Lancing we want Fabric to be seen as a beacon of excellence in community building and collaboration to enhance the prospects of local people.’ Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Kevin Boram, added, ‘‘Through the pandemic, we have learned how important our local communities are for our well-being. This project is a great opportunity to invest in Lancing to create jobs and bounce back better.’