Revitalising Oxfordshire’s urban centres, one empty building at a time
Launched in early 2021, ‘Meanwhile in Oxfordshire’ is a programme that will aim to transform underused space in Oxfordshire’s urban centres.

The number of vacant units on Oxfordshire’s high streets has steadily increased in recent years, yet there is no shortage of people and organisations in need of affordable space. 

Over the course of the next year, we will be working to identify, secure, fit out and let up to 30 vacant units to local, independent and community-driven organisations on short-term or ‘meanwhile’ leases. Not only will ‘Meanwhile in Oxfordshire’ support independent organisations and the local economy, but it will diversify our urban centres, giving people even more reasons to visit. 

The programme was developed by Oxford City Council, with funding secured by OxLEP from the central government’s Getting Building Fund. We’ve partnered with Wild Property, Transition by Design, SOHA Housing, Fusion Arts, Aspire Oxfordshire and Independent Oxford to deliver ‘Meanwhile in Oxfordshire’.


With an ambitious goal of occupying up to 30 buildings, we are constantly on the lookout for vacant spaces around Oxfordshire.

As a landlord or a property owner, ‘Meanwhile in Oxfordshire’ presents a wonderful opportunity to increase the value of your space and reduce your running costs, but also to support independent organisations from your local community as part of an exciting social movement.

The spaces we’re looking for will be located on the high streets or in the urban centres of the county, outlined below;

  • Cherwell: Bicester, Banbury, Kidlington
  • West Oxfordshire: Witney, Carterton, Chipping Norton
  • Vale of White Horse: Abingdon, Faringdon, Wantage
  • South Oxfordshire: Didcot, Wallingford, Thame, Henley on Thames
  • Oxford City: City Centre, Cowley, Blackbird Leys, Littlemore, Rose Hill, Headington

Spaces must be available to let on a short-term basis, from short ‘pop-ups’ to multi-year arrangements.

If you have access to or know of an empty space that you think could be put to use as part of this project, let us know below.


We’re looking for locally-rooted businesses, organisations and creatives who can help us bring to life a bold new vision for Oxfordshire’s high streets. 

These organisations will span different sectors, but will be unified by a commitment to positive cultural, social or environmental impact. They will help to build more inclusive and resilient local communities and stronger local economies.

Successful applicants will benefit from significantly reduced rental rates in urban locations, as well as access to support from the Makespace team and community throughout their tenancy.

Whilst we are open to applications from everyone, we’ll be best positioned to match organisations that…

  • Have a demonstrable commitment to positive social, cultural or environmental impact
  • Will be able to occupy and animate space quickly as/when they become available
  • Have a budget allocation for rent, utilities, VAT and business rates
  • Have a project plan for the duration of desired tenancy, which may include your ambitions for a space, planned activities, timeline and staffing requirements


Interested in space? Apply now

Please note that we have already received a high volume of applications, and are still in the process of finding and securing spaces. While we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible, response times will vary, as well as lead times for matching successful applicants to spaces. Space for successful applicants will likely be available from Spring 2022.

If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please contact

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