Charities collaborate over shared HQ

A councillor in west London has hailed the opening of a purpose-built centre offering shared accommodation and equipment for 18 charities as a template for collaborative working between charities of all sizes.

An office inside the Ealing Community Resource Centre
An office inside the Ealing Community Resource Centre

The centre's builders, the not-for-profit Dominion Housing Group, describe the community of charities that have moved into the Ealing Community Resource Centre as "like one umbrella charity". A spokesperson said the centre's shared spaces and facilities had been designed to encourage collaboration, networking and mutual learning between the different organisations.

Councillor Ian Green, Ealing Borough Council's cabinet member for adult services and housing, said: "The model chosen for this resource centre, which has small, medium and large voluntary groups all sharing facilities, is a template not only for Ealing but for other parts of the country as well."

The centre cost £650,000 to fit out, and was part of a £10m development that also included 36 affordable homes. Its major funders included Capacitybuilders and the Big Lottery Fund, as well as Ealing Council and a number of local businesses.

The spokesperson said the housing association would receive rental income from the charities but the centre had not been build for commercial reasons. She said: "As a not-for-profit organisation we made the decision to support local groups."

The centre's chair, Adrian Cave, added: "The project is a notable example of the contribution which housing associations can and should make to community development in areas where they provide residential accommodation."

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