Meanwhile Forum

Meanwhile uses, meanwhile cities and place-making


Northern Ireland

Are you interested in how to utilise empty spaces in Northern Ireland?

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Location: Northern Ireland
Members: 11
Latest Activity: Mar 26, 2013

Meanwhile Space CIC in Northern Ireland

Press Release
14th March 2011

Ground-breaking project gives local vacant properties a new lease of life!

An innovative new initiative to help re-invigorate the local high street, improve the look of vacant shops and showcase local community and business projects will be piloted in Portadown this month.
Organised by Craigavon Borough Council’s Development Department in partnership Meanwhile Space, the main aim of the initiative is to temporarily use a vacant shop in Portadown for a socially beneficial purpose until it is used commercially again.
The shop could be used to showcase local community and voluntary group projects, help local charities promote their work or support budding entrepreneurs launch and test their new ideas! In addition, it will help the landlord actively market their property and increase footfall to neighbouring businesses.

Chair of the Development Committee, Alderman Sydney Anderson MLA, comments: “This ground-breaking initiative is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and is an excellent opportunity to support local businesses, showcase the exceptional work of our community and voluntary based projects and help local entrepreneurs promote their innovative new business ideas. The project will bring wide ranging benefits to stakeholders, occupants, landlords and the wider public and will help our local high street stay bustling and bright.”

He adds; ”I would encourage any local projects or budding business people interested in using the space, or landlords throughout Portadown and Lurgan who would like their shops involved in this project, to fill in an application form and make use of this trailblazing initiative.”

If the pilot proves successful, the initiative will be rolled out across Lurgan and Portadown with a further four shops becoming available in each town centre for use.

To secure an application form please contact Economic Development Officer, Ciaran Tipping, on 028 3831 3602 or email

For more information, download here Meanwhile Information

See images of the space here.

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Comment by Jessica Courtney Bennett on April 21, 2011 at 3:41pm

Meanwhile Space CIC have been working hard with Craigavon Borough Council over the last few months to set up their first meanwhile space. After meetings with landlords and lengthy discussions with lawyers over a lease for Northern Irish premises, a shop was opened in Portadown this week after a Dragons Den style event. The event has also been supported by the newly launched Northern Ireland arm of the Development Trust Association who signed the lease.


Three projects were successful and this week saw the first enter the shop. On the first day of opening The Kenya Safari had a steady flow of visitors all day, purchasing Kenyan items and gathering information about the project.  The shop also attracted a few children who enjoyed the crafts as well. 

Pamela Mann, who leads on The Kenya Safari, printed 1000 leaflets and nearly all have gone, proving great interest in the area.  Local shops supported the project by advertising the project in their windows, signaling great understanding that activating the shop was positive for the area.


This is the first pop up style shop in this area and will have two more projects delivered in the space over the next few weeks.

Comment by Jessica Courtney Bennett on April 21, 2011 at 3:43pm
Comment by Emily Berwyn on June 3, 2011 at 5:56pm

Spread the word!

Give your big idea a chance in an empty space on the high street

We'd like to help you use empty spaces in Lurgan and Portadown for you to try your "pop-up" ideas. Whether you know what you would like to do or not, come and speak to us. Firstly, choose a theme:
Getting your pop-up started - There's an empty space. What would you do with it? Try and shape a business idea? Share an interest or hobby with friends and strangers? Display your artwork or artefacts and show others how to learn a new skill? The chance to use a space to give your ideas life is here. Come and share with us your ideas and interests and we'll see together if we you can make it work in a pop-up shop. 
From concept to reality -  You know what you would like to do with an empty space. We'll share with you how others have made their pop-up projects work. Together we'll explore the costs involved and how to meet them; the reality of using an empty space and what to do before and after a pop-up project.
Then chose a day and time that works for you:
16 June, book a slot at 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm or 7.30pm
17 June, book a slot from 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, or 12.30pm

Then email Ciaran Tipping ( from CBC with your name and number and your preferred theme and time for confirmation of your workshop time.

Comment by Jessica Courtney Bennett on September 21, 2011 at 3:43pm
Yoga classes open in Town Centre! Craigavon Borough Council


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