The loss of the Whitechapel Women’s Library was the trigger for setting up Rooms of our Own. But then we wondered whether in the days of the internet women still wanted buildings. We held a joint conference with Queen Mary University of London and the answer was a resounding “YES”
In 2015 we held a joyous day at which all kinds of individuals and organisations came together to give us a little “TASTE” of what Rooms of our Own would offer. We had stalls, leaflets, talks on women in business, domestic violence, current campaigns, opportunities for networking, all sorts of food, a creche and dramatic and musical performances.
As part of our bid to purchase the Walthamstow site, we engaged Shared Enterprise to research the needs of local women and women’s organisations.
The Localism Act allows public bodies to sell assets to community organisations at less than the market rate if they can demonstrate that their activities deliver benefit. We engaged someone from the New Economics Foundation to monetise the social value that Rooms of our Own would bring
When the purchase of the Walthamstow site was agreed Rooms of our Own was awarded a grant from the GLA’s Community Right to Build fund. We used part of this to engage Anne Thorne Architects to produce a feasibility study.
Rooms of our Own attended several sessions of the Examination in Public of the new London Plan and spoke on social infrastructure and toilets.
We worked with Just Space and Masters students at UCL to look at how Social Impact Assessments would improve planning for London