Union Corner – the story

In 2014 Stonehouse Action had a mad moment…inspired by people at the Street Party telling us to bring empty spaces back to use, we decided why not!

We talked to some of the land owners along the street and decided to transform 96 Union Street and turn it into a community space and garden where people can test business ideas, make things and meet each other.

We crowd funded to get a shop front and garden fence on Union Corner – we had amazing support.  Over a hundred people donated and over 35 businesses contributed – a huge thank you to all these local businesses!!!

Stonehouse Tennis Club, Recycling Plymouth, Edmundson electrical, Acacia Training and Development, Spectrum Photo Laboratories, Devonport Carpets, ADS Window Films, Burnetts Auto Care, Stonehouse Music School, SMB Plating, King Street News, Waste Partnership, Millfields Trust, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth City Council, Devon Community Homes, Artillery Arms, Union Glass, Lord High Admiral, Stonehouse Timebank, N J Frood Builder, Sloggett and Son, Culture and Arts Network, Glad Rags, Grosvenor Chambers Reclamation, Foto Now, Dom Moore Photography, Lesley Jayne Jewellery, Master St James Black Belt Academy, Rock Salt, Seco and Martin Bush.

This is what has happened so far:

  • 8 May 2014 – we got the keys
  • June 2014 – we introduced the project and gathered ideas at the Big Lunch
  • August 2014 – Research+Design helped develop a great plan for the shop
  • September 2014 – we discussed our ideas and designs with local people and cleared two skip loads of rubbish out
  • November 2014 – probation put in insulation and new reclaimed doors and we hosted the Lantern Parade, Seed Store and Cafe Concrete events – the space is being used!
  • December 2014 – the electrics were fixed – we have light! thanks to Community First
  • January 2015 – the exterior wall was rendered and painted thanks to Sovereign Housing and Spectrum Housing
  • June 2015 – we Crowdfunded for £10,000 to do the shopfront and garden fence
  • November 2015 – we finally got planning permission to do everything!
  • December 2015 – the old shopfront (what was left of it) came down
  • January 2016 – the new frame arrived thanks to Flux Metal
  • February 2016 – we got windows!
  • March 2016 – shopfront done and garden fence going up
  • April 2016 – banners up and inside of the shop decorated
  • May 2016 – the fence gets finished and the water is running!
  • June 2016 – we thank our crowdfunder supporters and open the doors!
  • August 2016 – we get funding from the Peoples Lottery to support exciting activity and local use of the space
  • September 2016 – the Scouts start a new Stonehouse group of Cubs and Beavers in Union Corner
  • October 2016 – the WEA start running mini courses in everything from rock school, tai chi and wellbeing
  • November 2016 – heating goes in thanks to Plymouth Community Homes
  • December 2016 – 900 people have been through the space and 450 local people have stayed for an activity.

What’s next?

  • Use it! This is a space for you to try out ideas and make things happen in your community.
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