Healthy Planet - charity that utilises empty shops for community spaces

Has anyone ever seen any of the Healthy Planet Books for free shops?

I first stumbled on the project when waiting around in Tufnell Park and started browsing in one of Healthy Planet's books for free shops. I loved the concept, (picked up the below pictured 60's diet book - didn't work, I got fatter but lovely typography) and wondered if it could work on Myddleton Rd?

Healthy Planet is a charity with a ecology/waste reduction ethos.

One of their schemes are running "free" book shops (saving books from landfill) in empty shops while they are looking for paying tenants.

The Landlord  benefits as they save money in rates as the space is used by a charity (business rates are discounted) and the space is occupied and more rentable when displayed as a running business - as soon as a paying tenant is found they vacate the premises.

Local residents benefit by having one less boarded up premises and a bookshop that provides books for free! (They don't charge for any of the books - just a 3 book a day limit, which makes it a lot easier to run than you're average charity shop with paid employees).

They are also open to using the space for locals hoping to organise community events/book groups coffee mornings etc.

I spoke to David at the organisation and he said they are really open to new shops especially as the Tuffnell park and Barnet have both now closed (as paying tenants were found) the next step is providing contact details of landlords with their letting negotiators.

What do people think? Myddleton Rd obviously has an abundance of empty properties! I was thinking places like the boarded up Pierogi cafe or Hellenic Gourmet would be ideal.

The challenge is getting in front of Landlords.

Can anyone help with passing this info to Landlords if they know any? 

I'm sharing this post with Richard Sharman who I spoke to contact details can be found here

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I love this idea and think it should be put onto the minutes for the Myddleton Road A Street Worth Fighting For strategy group so it can be followed up?

What a great idea! I would love to see a charity / book shop on Myddleton Road, but had never heard of Healthy Planet before.

Not sure if it's useful, but I came across Meanwhile Space through my work, who help people to find empty properties: I know they can provide training and mentoring to people who are interested...although as far as I understand they charge.

Would love to see more empty properties being used in innovative ways!


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