Our CEO, Tom Gaskin shares an important update regarding the future of The Shoebox Community Hub in Norwich.

Unfortunately, we’ve recently received notice from our landlord to vacate The Shoebox on Castle Meadow in Norwich.

I know this will come as a big shock to many of you, who like me, are very fond of our building and it’s been the heart of our Shoebox community for over two years.

Originally the landlord wanted us out by the end of the year but we’ve negotiated an extension until the end of April next year, although this has resulted in an increase in rent.

This news has obviously been unsettling for everybody but at least the extension grants us a little more time to seek out alternative venues to move The Shoebox to.

Positive outlook

We are approaching this situation with a positive outlook, but will obviously be sad to leave our home and we are mindful of the potential impact this uncertainty could have on you, our valued community members, as well as our dedicated staff. 

Our community has grown to over 300 registered members, which is truly amazing. On our busiest days, the Hub is nearly at full capacity. Recognising the challenges that some of you face with the stairs, we’ve already been actively searching for more accessible and inclusive spaces in the city centre.

Alternative spaces

We had a successful pilot at the Forum over the summer, which allowed us to learn more about what many of you want from an alternative space and also how we might fund this. The Forum space was a short term arrangement, so we’re actively exploring other options for affordable premises in the city. So if you have any suggestions for spaces please let us know.

We’re currently making our way around the Shoebox groups to personally inform everyone, but we wanted to also share this blog and video to ensure we don’t miss anyone.

The future

Rest assured, The Shoebox Enterprises will continue beyond April. We understand the need to adapt and position ourselves strongly to continue supporting the Shoebox community and delivering our wider projects.

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing this news more widely and launching various campaigns to raise awareness and support. We’ll also be encouraging people to come and experience our Hidden Street Tour before it’s too late! (Read update on how this effects future tour bookings, experiences and gift vouchers).

For now, there won’t be any immediate changes affecting Shoebox groups, but we’ll keep you posted if the situation changes. In the meantime, thank you for your understanding and support. Please feel free to share any ideas with the team or ask any questions you may have, we’re here to help.