Our current investments are in –
Jericho Road invested the critical early ‘mezzanine’ finance to secure the building, remain one third co-owner of the Rock House and have been intimately involved in all of its development phases.
Alternative thinking and lifestyle require affordable housing and work space, so instead of accepting the inevitability of gentrification (or at least the downsides) Rock House has provided local people with the platform to club together and take ownership of regeneration themselves.
Rock House is a social enterprise redevelopment of a 9-storey 1969 office block from near empty into a mixed-use, creative, collaborative, space for living, working and community action. Two elements rest at the core of its aims:
- Secure community ownership of the building and cap the rents in perpetuity to lock in affordability forever.
- Establish new kinds of social environments in which it is ‘normal’ to know your neighbours and to contribute to the social, physical and cultural management and upkeep of your neighbourhood. The building is ‘community self-managed’ by its tenants who are selected based on their need, local connection, enthusiasm and contribution. They participate, socialise and collaborate together to shape their space.
Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust
Jess is a founder trustee of the CLT and Jericho Road has provided fundraising, administration and project development until handing over to the core staff team, which we helped to recruit.
The CLT is working in the two most deprived areas of Hastings at present, which are most at risk of gentrification or decline and stand to gain the most from their work:
- WHITE ROCK – taking the sting out of gentrification
- ORE VALLEY – tackling dereliction and poverty from the bottom up
Heart of Hastings are tenants at Rock House, which provides a learning lab for many aspects of their work – difficult buildings, mixed uses, capped residential and commercial rents, selection and induction process, and community-building among tenants. The evidence from Rock House is that there is need and demand for both residential and commercial space with fair, stable rents and a explicit facilitation to build a sense of community.
Jess played a leading role in the initial saving and renovation of
Hastings Pier and that experience has informed her work across the country. Now the pier is at risk once
again, Jericho Road did its best to back the bid to keep the pier in community ownership and revitalise it as a genuine community asset.
Sadly, the community bid was unsuccessful this time round, but passionate locals (including Jess and Beth) continue to work hard as part of Friends of Hastings Pier Trust to:
- Ensure Upkeep and Maintenance of the Pier
- Advocate for Sustained community benefit
- Be ready to bring pier back into community ownership
- Use the lessons from Hastings Pier to protect community assets around the country and ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.