The UK’s First Living Wage Building Launches in South London
April 26, 2019
International House in Brixton, south London, has been recognised as the UK’s first Living Wage Building. All tenants based within the co-working building are obliged to pay at least the London Living Wage to their employees and contractors.
The 11-storey block is owned by Lambeth Council and run by 3Space. The former council office re-opened in 2018 as one of London’s biggest affordable co-working buildings for new and growing businesses, social enterprises and charities, with a focus on design, creativity and innovation. It will support 850 jobs when fully occupied.
George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces will be taking up residence in the building later this year, and one floor of the block is dedicated to community and not-for-profit organisations, who rent the space for free.
To be recognised as a Living Wage Building, the building manager must include a clause within its tenancy agreement stating that any businesses located in the building are obliged to pay at least the Living Wage to their employees and contractors.
International House is the first Living Wage Building to meet the criteria as part of the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage Places scheme.
Cllr Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, said: “This is now one of London’s biggest affordable workspaces, and being named as the UK’s first Living Wage Building really cements the significance of this project.
“We have a really ambitious programme of delivering more affordable workspace and creating more high-quality jobs for local people. We hope this will be the first of many accredited Living Wage Buildings in the borough.”
In the coming months the Living Wage Foundation will announce the launch of the UK’s first Living Wage Zone and earlier this month, Dundee was announced as the first city to be recognised as Making a Living Wage City.
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:
“We’re delighted to see International House become the country’s first Living Wage Building. Lambeth Council has shown real leadership in asking businesses based within its buildings to pay the London Living Wage. We know the huge impact that supportive local authorities like Lambeth can have in driving Living Wage take-up. Across the UK many councils are now not only accrediting as Living Wage employers but also using their convening power to help spread Living Wage accreditation through local businesses and supply chains.”
Douglas White, Joint Interim Chief Executive at Carnegie UK Trust said: “The Carnegie UK Trust has been delighted to support the Living Wage Foundation to develop the Living Wage Building scheme. We warmly welcome the announcement that International House is to be the first building in the UK to receive this accolade and congratulate Lambeth Council on its commitment to this vital agenda”.
Lambeth Council is rolling out new co-working buildings across the borough, all of which specify that tenants pay the London Living Wage to employees and contractors. The council is also offering a business rate discount for businesses that commit to paying the London Living Wage.
Lambeth now has six affordable workspaces in the borough, with more in the pipeline, supporting over 300 business and creating more than 200 new jobs to date. They are as follows:
- Tripod: located in Lambeth Town Hall in the heart of Brixton, Tripod provides space, events and connections for creative, tech and social businesses.
- Pop Brixton: on the site of a former council car park in Brixton, Pop is a community project, event venue and the home of independent retailers, restaurants, street food start-ups and social enterprises.
- International House
- Granby Space: a temporary space in Lower Marsh, Waterloo, supporting local start-ups and growing independent enterprises. Spaces are let on affordable rates of between 50-80 per cent of market value.
- Build Studios: a co-working space, five minutes’ walk from Waterloo station, specifically for the built environment sector.
- Health Foundry: located opposite St Thomas’ Hospital in Waterloo, it provides a supportive environment for digital health start-ups including a community of over 190 members, and a team which facilitates connections across the healthcare system.
- LJ Works: currently being built on council-owned land, LJ Works will include low-cost co-working kitchen facilities, along with studios, workshops and shared textile workspaces. It will also continue to be home to the Loughborough Farm food growing project.