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Start-up offers free London meeting space

London venue hire site, somewhereto_, donates portion of takings to provide young people with free meeting space

Pictured: London venue finding website somewhereto_ has launched a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, offering young entrepreneurs free work space

A London-based venue hire start-up says it is helping solve the capital's "creative crisis", by offering free meeting spaces to young entrepreneurs.

The online venue hire site, somewhereto_, is giving a portion of its takings to provide young people aged 16 to 25 with free space.

The company, which lists spaces in London, says hundreds of venues have already signed up across the capital.

Dominic Perez-Silva, corporate development manager at Oval Space and The Pickle Factory, one of the participating venues, said: “For us, it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. We see the creative spirit of London as an essential part of our offering. People want to use our space because London is such a vibrant, exciting place. This is an easy way for us to help make sure it stays that way.”

In a statement on somewhereto_'s website the start-up says: "People tell you that creativity in London's culture is under threat. Rents are rising and spaces are getting smaller. The cool kids are moving to Berlin, where they can afford a production studio and a 2-bed flat on their one-night-a-week bar job.

"It's true, an alarming number of young creative people are struggling in London, but there are still spaces where they can flourish. The trick is finding them and making them available to the right people."

Tom Barratt, programme director of somewhereto_, said: "London’s young artists, designers, architects, and writers, to musicians and filmmakers are struggling to find affordable and flexible space to be able to pursue their ideas. For established creative businesses, this adds significant operational costs and pressures. For young creatives, the effect is far more serious. They find themselves being marginalised or, in many cases, pushed out of the city altogether.

“We are committed to fighting back against the hollowing out of the capital’s creative districts. Every time someone books a space through somewhereto_ they are helping give a young creative access to another somewhereto_ space for free. Fulfilling not only the potential of a generation, but the promise of a vibrant, creative London.”

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