The New Look shop that became a climate emergency hub


Throughout the UK, outlets which were deserted by large chains have gotten hubs for tackling the local weather disaster

“We need to attain out past the ‘local weather bubble’,” says Ben McCallan, chair of the Zero Carbon Guildford charity, in Surrey, which runs ZERO, one in every of a brand new wave of local weather hubs up and down the UK. 

McCallan and fellow volunteers managed to get a in the meantime (non permanent) lease on a 16,000sq ft city centre premises that had been empty for 3 years. They spruced up the rundown former New Look store, and ZERO opened in November 2021. The charity is concentrated on constructing a neighborhood local weather motion plan, utilizing native options to sort out a worldwide disaster. 

ZERO’s goals are threefold: to coach, by reaching out to individuals who aren’t already taking motion on the local weather; to supply sensible options, notably native ones, to assist the neighborhood deal with fragile provide chains; and to construct psychological well being and wellbeing assist frameworks. 

Solely run and staffed by volunteers, ZERO has principally been funded by the neighborhood to this point, together with £25,000 from a crowdfunding marketing campaign. The Nationwide Lottery has additionally simply awarded the undertaking £10,000. 

Elsewhere, the Talking Tree local weather emergency centre in Staines, Surrey, is housed in a former William Hill betting store; and Homebase and River Island outlets in different cities have been transformed into related set-ups. 

As McCallan places it: “That is to assist individuals course of the detrimental feelings that so often trigger individuals to show away from the problems at hand, and as an alternative assist them use these to spur themselves into motion.”

Principal picture: Zero Carbon Guildford

This text is the newest in our ‘reinventing the high street’ collection. In current weeks, Optimistic Information has been shining a lightweight on the individuals, locations and tasks which can be respiratory new life into the UK’s city and metropolis centres as many retail giants abandon them. 

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