Agenda and minutes

Lewes District Council Scrutiny Affordable Workspace Panel
Thursday, 4th October, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Telscombe Room - Southover House, Lewes. View directions

Contact: Committee Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2018 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2018 were approved as a correct record by the Chair.

2.

Apologies for Absence/Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

An apology for absence had been received from Councillor O’Keeffe.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Disclosure by councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the councillor regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were none.

4.

Urgent Items

Items not on the agenda which the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances as defined in Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972. A Supplementary Report will be circulated at the meeting to update the main Reports with any late information.

Minutes:

There were none.

5.

Written Questions from Councillors

To deal with written questions from councillors pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12.3 (page D8 of the Constitution).

Minutes:

There were none.

6.

Review of Affordable Workspaces in the Lewes District (End Users)

In order to understand what the Council can do better to support creative businesses, the Panel has invited representatives from the following organisations to attend this meeting and contribute to the review:

·       Making Lewes;

·       Phoenix Rising; and

·       Devonshire Collective.

Minutes:

In order to understand what the Council could do better to support creative businesses, the panel invited representatives from the following organisations to attend this meeting and contribute to the review:

·       Lewes phoenix Rising;

·       Making Lewes; and

·       Devonshire Collective.

 

Prior to the meeting, the following set of questions were circulated to the invitees:

  1. Could you please provide us with an overview of your area of work?
  2. What other networks do you collaborate with?
  3. According to your network, what is meant by affordable workspace?
  4. Could you please describe the workspace needs – including specialist equipment, tenancy agreement and size, of creative businesses?
  5. What are the barriers for creative businesses looking to start-up or explain in the Lewes District?
  6. What business support do creative enterprises need?
  7. What business support services are you aware of for your business in the Lewes District and how effective are they, in particular for creative businesses?
  8. If anyone in your network has ever used commercial property databases to search for affordable workspace and creative workspaces in the Lewes District, which ones and how effective were they?
  9. Could you please provide us with a list of known affordable workspaces and creative workspaces in the Lewes District to help us map the current supply?

Lewes Phoenix Rising

 

In preparation for the meeting, Lewes Phoenix Rising had conducted a survey during September which focused on the workspace needs of those creative industries in and around Lewes Town. The survey was distributed via the Lewes Phoenix Rising email list (1,500 recipients) and Lewes Phoenix Rising social media (760 followers). The survey had 100 completed responses and the results have been incorporated into the answers below. A copy of the presentation will be uploaded alongside the minutes.

 

Could you please provide us with an overview of your area of work?

Lewes Phoenix Rising was a development company set up by local people working to secure genuinely affordable homes and workspaces in Lewes.

 

According to your network, what was meant by affordable workspace?

Most survey respondents were looking to pay less than £7.50 per square feet per annum for space which fit their specification (see answer below) – and typically needed less than 250 square feet.

 

Could you please describe the workspace needs of creative businesses?

Various sizes were needed depending on the craft which ranged from sculptors, 3-D designers and jewellery makers to performance artists. The survey results highlighted that the priority was for a basic, insulated space with utilities, parking, ground floor access and good security. Daylight, shared machinery, communal areas and the potential for configuring spaces to the businesses individual were also important. The majority of respondents sought to work within 2 miles of home – but would travel further for affordable workspaces.

 

What were the barriers for creative businesses looking to start-up or expand in Lewes District?

  • The lack of available workspaces which provided a cross section of industries working together and allowed for networking opportunities;
  • The lack of short-term and flexible rental opportunities;
  • The shortage of basic concrete  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.