Finance: More office space in London for voluntary sector organisations

A social enterprise that provides office space for sector organisations at London's Mezzanine building has announced plans to acquire up to four more such premises across London and more facilities outside the capital.

Community Action Network's first office facility, at 1 London Bridge, was opened in 2004 and is now home to 70 not-for-profit groups, with a further 50 on the waiting list. To help meet this demand, the network has secured a second Mezzanine - the brand name for its office facilities - in Loman Street, Southwark.

CAN has negotiated a 25-year lease for the £2m Loman Street site, which will be ready for tenants in January. The site currently acts as the headquarters for the charity DrugScope, which will be the 'anchor tenant' for the new building.

The property, which is currently being refurbished, will provide an additional 25,000 square feet of office space and 280 workstations.

Andrew Croft, director of Mezzanines at the network, confirmed that the organisation was in advanced negotiations on a third property, in north London, and that it hoped to be able to announce progress on this by the end of the year.

"We are looking to expand outside London once we have established four or five properties in the capital," he said. CAN has a team of agents searching for suitable properties, as well as a consultant to advise on a development strategy.

Croft hopes the new buildings will "achieve the principal criterion of providing an affordable and high-quality office environment for third sector organisations".

Adele Blakebrough, chief executive of the network, said: "We know from experience that a key hurdle to growth is lack of affordable and quality office space. In our Mezzanines, tenants can concentrate on tackling social inequality, being innovative and increasing their impact - and let us worry about day-to-day issues."

Blakebrough added: "It's hard enough running a social business or charity, without working in poor surroundings with bad services. Our offices and ethos are about quality, creativity and affordability."

Anyone interested in becoming a tenant of the Loman Street Mezzanine can email Kirstin Ross on

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