RETRO gaming, beginners’ yoga and arts and crafts are just some of the activities being brought by a community initiative to a high street currently undergoing regeneration.
Tiger Community Enterprise CIC is the latest tenant to move into Nottingham’s Lister Gate.
They have moved to a unit owned by property developer ALB Group, which previously revealed ambitious plans to revitalise Lister Gate and nearby Bridlesmith Gate, having acquired 14 commercial properties in the area.
As well as offering community activities, there will also be a shop and cafe at the unit, which was a former bank and most recently used as a window display.
Tiger was established in 2013, to support enterprise and to help individuals and organisations to grow, sharing skills and building confidence.
It has led projects including making and distributing scrubs and face masks to hospitals and care homes during the pandemic, and it is currently working on reusable sanitary wear and sewing drainage bags, which are discrete bags that carry surgical drains.
It had to move from its previous base at 38 Carrington Street Urban Room, which is now a pop-up concept.
Tiger leaders have spent the past three months with their belongings in storage, waiting for the ideal space to become available.
Toni Jarvis, Tiger’s project leader, said: “We wanted something in the city centre that was going to be big enough to do all the things we want to do.
“We also want people to be able to access us by train, tram, bus, or car, and where Lister Gate is is really central to all these things.
“We will drive our own traffic in by doing activities, but it’s also going to be great for people living in the city centre, who say there are very little community activities to do, while also being accessible across the wider county.”
As well as selling creations made by volunteers in the shop, the cafe will also be a space for ‘social eating’, with regular cooking workshops and opportunities for people to eat as a community.
There will also be work experience opportunities, particularly for people with learning difficulties.
The Nottinghamshire Federation of the Women’s Institute have already been involved in making the shop window display.
Toni added: “It’s nice to be revitalising Lister Gate. So many people are disappointed with it down there. We are hoping that lots of people come down to do activities with us.”
She praised ALB and agents FHP for the swift exchange, saying: “They have been fabulous.
"We were really struggling to get a decision on a previous property, with a different landlord, and when this one became vacant they moved pretty quickly.
“We can’t wait to get our team of Tigers back together.”
Toni said she was hopeful that Tiger will qualify for community discounted business rates.
Arran Bailey, managing director of Nottingham-based ALB Group, welcomed Tiger, but said: “It is currently a very difficult time to find tenants for Lister Gate with the half-demolished Broadmarsh Shopping Centre and the high rateable values on the street.
“The location is good for these sorts of tenants as they are able to achieve lower business rates than others.
“The council should be offering free or lower rates in the area to encourage business to move down there while the works continue at Broadmarsh or the properties on the street to be revalued as soon as possible, due to the decline of the area.
“As an example we have let the unit at 14 percent of the rateable value of the property which quite clearly shows how incorrect the rateable values are in Nottingham City Centre.”
Oliver Marshall, associate director with FHP, said: “It’s great to see a community-focused operation making the most of the opportunities available on the high street, bringing life into Lister Gate.
“Lister Gate is going through a period of change with the proposed redevelopment of the Broadmarsh, but FHP are working with landlords like ALB to bring new tenants into the city.
“It has been a breath of fresh air working with ALB to secure this deal with Tiger. ALB are quick to agree a deal and realistic with their expectations on rental prices they will achieve.
“This follows other successful deals for ALB including 32 Lister Gate to Hatchet Harry’s and the recent exchange of contracts at 2-4 Albert Street nearby.
It is hoped that the Tiger Community Hub will be fully open by April 1.
Anyone wishing to volunteer with Tiger Community Enterprise CIC, or who can help with grant funding, can email email@example.com
To find out more about ALB Group, visit www.albgroup.co.uk