In 2012 the old head post office in Kingston was an empty at-risk Grade 2 listed building with great potential for use as a community cultural centre by environmental groups, artists, local charities and support groups, and small/start-up businesses.
A consortium of community groups* had a vision for the building that included a cafe, event and exhibition space, an environment hub, meeting places, studios, workshops, office space... and we worked together for a few years to secure this space for the community and turn the vision into a reality - with some success, as community use was included in the planning permission for the St George Royal Exchange development. We awaited developments with interest, for many years...
In 2021 a new consortium of green groups and individuals came together to plan a Climate Emergency Centre, the Kingston Hive CIC, and in 2022, as the Royal Exchange development neared completion, the Old Post Office was once more being considered as a potential community hub, with the top two floors renovated and reserved for community use. Once again, we awaited developments, hoping that The Kingston Hive's application to occupy this space early in 2023 wold be successful as it would bring something unique and important to our town centre and, given that some of this new consortium were amongst the early campaigners for community space in the listed buildings, it would be a well-deserved outcome.
However, it was not to be. It seems that Kingston Mind will be the beneficiary. nice for them but leaving The Kingston Hive still searching for a base, ideally, like TOPO, a permanent one...
* Our supporters in the early years (many of whom have since found other premises or moved on to new projects, though some, the highlighted ones, are currently involved in the Kingston Hive collaboration, along with other groups and individuals) included:
Kingston Environment Centre
Kingston Environment Forum
Kingston Fairtrade Group
Kingston Green Radio
Recovery Initiative Social Enterprise
Save the World Club
Transition Town Kingston
Wow! Vintage & Craft
Please join in the discussions on our Facebook page.
With thanks to The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames for a Neighbourhood Grant in 2014 to help with printing and admin costs.
If you or your organisation/community group/enterprise think you could use TOPO sometime in the future, please download, complete, and return a TOPO Expression of Interest form - no obligation, but it will help us to assess potential interest and build a business case for TOPO.