This is an old tyre shop in South London that a group of us are looking to turn in to a popular co-operative supermarket. We're raising funding just now from public and private sources to do the place up.
I'll post some pictures over the next few days but as part of our market research in to its future use, this weekend we are at a big local Country Fair and about twenty volunteers are hawking around a questionnaire asking people whether they'd like to see such a social enterprise in their area and whether they think it's a good use for an empty retail space.
The response from yesterday - the first of two days - has been fantastic!
Over 300 completed questionnaires and names and email addresses left for us to follow up as prospective new members of the co-op.
This kind of low-level, market surveying seems to be a simple, effective way of assessing demand.
Also a good way of generating some low-level excitement for the prospective new occupation of a vacant retail premises.
But the journey is only just beginning: since we reckon we need 750 fully signed up members of the co-op to ensure that the enterprise is properly staffed from Day One - and aim to have 6000 by year three. (gulp!).
The entire initiative is being filmed for a series of primetime Channel 4 TV programmes to be broadcast in 2010, designed to show the highs and lows, opportunities and excitement of turning a relic of recession in to a thriving neighbourhood resource.
Back to you with an update....