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Meanwhile Use: Highlights

As the Meanwhile Use project is coming to an end, we’re looking back at the highlights in this special summary video. We’re so pleased this project has been able to help those creative people and businesses of Plymouth. Watch the video below to hear how the project has impacted the people of our city!

The Meanwhile Use project was initiated to support imaginative projects that occupy vacant spaces in the city centre. It allowed such project to have a home, rent free.

It provided an amazing opportunity for pop-up, experimentation and testing of ideas in a low risk way.

Studies and reports highlight a need to diversify the high street, moving away from a reliance on retail, in order to truly reinvent our town centres for a sustainable future. The high street has also been heavily impacted by the pandemic leading to an increase in vacant units and evidence that indicates consumer buying habits may be permanently changed. 

In Plymouth there was and continues to be an opportunity, with the support of various funds and a committed partnership, to revive our city centre through the development of a meanwhile use programme to stimulate activity in the short-term leading to long-term change, and create a sustainable model of business start up and growth.

Read more about the project here, and see our favourite images below.

1. Studio Realine with Abigail Eaton
2. Colossal by Sue Lewry at Vacancy Atlas
3. Mend. Sewing and Making classes at Vacancy Atlas
4. PRIMEDesign with Prime Skatepark
5. Zedify Plymouth
6. The Hidden Art Gallery with Billy Finch at 71 Cornwall Street
7. Sam Machell’s exhibition ‘Dinner Machine’ at 71 Cornwall Street 
8. Community Climate Centre launch day
9. Sprite Arts Collective exhibition Immersion: Voices of Plymouth Sea Swimmers
10. still/moving’s collab with Prime Skatepark to create a stunning light installation


Untitled design (29)
A unique and inspiring collection of portraits created by artist Mick Hand is currently in the works, successfully representing the diverse communities across Plymouth.
Untitled design (14)
The chosen title of the exhibition, ‘We See You’ responds directly to the generosity of the children in Kabul who agreed to share their art and the meaning they attach to it with distant strangers living very different lives.
Untitled design (12)
The focus of the exhibition is Care for Creation, giving youngsters a voice and say on their future.
Untitled design (11)
MayFest 2024 is in full swing, with up to 50 events taking place at The House Theatre in Plymouth, across the last two weeks of May.

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