Filling the Blanks
Cox Architecture

Repurposing vacant ground floor retail for creative or community uses (temporary or permanent)

Filling the Blanks repurposes vacant shopfronts as community spaces, re-activating streetscapes that have become derelict. These vacant ground floor shopfronts could be affordably leased by local councils or community groups and transformed into: creative workshops/maker spaces, community street libraries, galleries for local artists, pop-up libraries or community services, indoor parklets and playgrounds, or a place to play ping-pong.

Where leasing is not an option, the glazed frontages could be used as a temporary canvas for street art or light installations to improve the streetscape and reduce their attractiveness for graffiti – Banksy the Blanks!
Filling the Blanks will provide many layers of community benefit including:

  • safer and more active streets in local communities
  • some rental income for businesses impacted by COVID-19 that have been forced to close
  • more space for a diverse range of community uses
    Filling the Blanks will provide a variety of public spaces and facilities in areas that may be currently underserved, providing opportunities to build social engagement and cohesion within the community. The project will re-activate local high streets that have become underutilised, low-cost incubator and maker spaces for the community and broadly reinstating civic pride.

Filling the Blanks will transform perceptions about the provision of public space by bringing community life to places that have become abandoned.

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