The Hive is a Human Interest Versatile Environment. It is an evolution of the free social centre, intelligently reusing empty buildings and wasted resources to create an independent environmental and cultural social space.
Created on a budget of £250 from a dirty shell of a building, it opened in two weeks and immediately started to operate as a social hub. Running exhibitions, events, meetings and workshops on a donation basis the project evolved and improved daily. This highlights an important aspect – in that it requires little direct funding and can operate as a self-sustaining entity.
Within it’s first year, The Hive has blossomed as an independent social space and has earned a great reputation amongst councillors, com munity groups, artists, academics, planners and policy makers alike. We’ve seen over 7,000 people, held 35 exhibitions, numerous performance, environmental, political and cultural events, engaged over 220 local businesses, launched 9 new start-ups and helped about 60 local charities. This has all been achieved using a system that is and utilises volunteers, donations, up-cycling, recycling and sharing.
The outstanding success of the Hive in proving the efficiency and efficacy of the Holistic Urban Regeneration model has recently led to a BBC Radio 4 documentary called “A Waste of Space”, several articles in the press and a hustings panel of the London mayoral candidates, where every single candidate and representative expressed their full support and promised to manifest the system as part of the upcoming London plan. Sean Bailey – Conservative candidate for the London Assembly called it an “historic moment” while Harriet Sergeant, presenter of the Radio 4 documentary – and writer for the Daily Mail – urged people to “come down and see for yourself” if the system can work.
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