How can we fund the space?
Costs vary enormously across different models and timescales of Urban Rooms. A pop-up Urban Room for a few days in an indoor market might cost a few hundred pounds in rent, while a permanent Urban Room in a city centre shop might run into the thousands per year in rent, business rates and utilities.
Here are some ideas of where the funding for your Urban Room might come from and things to consider in putting your budget together:
Receiving funding usually relies on having good evidence that an Urban Room is an appropriate method to engage people effectively about their local area. It can be useful therefore to run a short pop-up or temporary Urban Room to trial the method and act as a ‘proof of concept’ for applying for funding to roll out a longer-term Urban Room (see ‘How do we know when to set up an Urban Room?’). The Urban Rooms Network is also a good source of knowledge and experience and aims to support making the case for new Urban Rooms with past examples and evidence, primarily through this Toolkit.
Aim to build a resilient funding structure that integrates core with project funding, and draws on funding from different partners, to avoid a single, potentially precarious funding stream. The Urban Room model is responsive and agile, with multiple options for type, timescale and duration available to suit the different levels of funding available.