Creating the change we want to see in the world, one empty building at a time

‘Meanwhile in Oxfordshire...’ is a programme that aims to transform underused space in Oxfordshire’s urban centres while creating a more sustainable and inclusive local economy.

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.

Since the programme launch in early 2021, we've worked to identify, secure, fit out and let 27 vacant units to local, independent and community-driven organisations on short-term or ‘meanwhile’ leases. Not only does ‘Meanwhile in Oxfordshire...’ support independent organisations and the local economy, but it diversifies 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.

0 Square metres secured

0 Spaces reopened

0 Organisations in affordable space

0 Jobs supported


Through 'Meanwhile in Oxfordshire...', we aim to support locally-rooted businesses, organisations and creatives who can help us bring to life a bold new vision for Oxfordshire’s high streets.

These organisations span different sectors, but are unified by a commitment to positive cultural, social or environmental impact. They help to build more inclusive and resilient local communities and stronger local economies. Our residents benefit from significantly reduced rental rates in Oxfordshire's urban centres, as well as access to support from the Makespace team and community throughout their tenancy.


Phoebe sits in front of the poetry library shelves smiling to camera with text reading 'Resident Focus: Oxford Poetry Library'
Ollie from Gulp Fiction Poses infront of Book Shelves with text reading 'Resident Focus: Gulp Fiction'
Portrait of Dianne Regisford, Owned by Oxford resident focus

Organisations we've supported through 'Meanwhile in Oxfordshire...' include...

A green logo with a red and yellow border reading 'Lula's Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine'


In finding, securing, and refitting underused spaces across Oxfordshire, we're creating the change we want to see in the world, one empty building at a time.

We see this reimagining of space as win-win situation; as a landlord or property owner, the model presents an opportunity to increase the value of your space, reduce running costs and be part of an exciting social movement. For small local organisations, it presents an opportunity to grow and expand their work, and to trial having a brick-and-mortar space without taking on the risk that traditional letting agreements carry.

Over the course of the programme, we've reopened 27 spaces across all of Oxfordshire's five district councils.

A map outlining Oxfordshire's urban centres with small red and blue dots indicating Makespace Oxford's locations


Read more about the latest developments in 'Meanwhile in Oxfordshire...' programme
(Re)making our commitment to Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in 2023 and beyond
Empowering Voices: Rana Ibrahim and the Iraqi Women Art and War Project - A Tribute to Refugee Week
Project Spotlight: Makespace Oxford


Interested in space? Apply now.

You can also browse our available spaces here.

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OxLEP, HM Government and Getting Building Fund logos