Transform The Common Room is a large-scale project to transform an unloved space into a brand new community building.

History of The Common Room

The Common Room was first initiated in 2014 as a partnership between Roman Road Trust, London Metropolitan University, Clarion Housing Association and Tower Hamlets Council’s Enterprise Team. A team of twenty students built (by hand!) a temporary structure which was used as a community room and came to be known as ‘The Common Room.’

Since then, The Common Room was a place where local people could meet and share ideas, which led to the creation of local initiatives such as the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum and Edible Bow.

The Common Room became the base for large scale events such as Roman Road FestivalQueen’s Birthday TeaThe Yard MarketEid Party, and Roman Road Christmas Fair. It has also been used by other local organisations such as Ability BowChisenhale Dance, and Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum.

In summer 2019, Roman Road Trust and Public Works held a series of Summer Events in The Common Room featuring skills and knowledge sharing. The popularity of these events proved there was an appetite from local people to have a dedicated learning space.

However, whilst The Common Room was great during the warmer, summer months, it was almost unusable in the autumn and winter.

Crowdfund London 2020

In January 2020, Roman Road Trust partnered with Public Works to launch a crowdfund campaign to transform the existing structure into a permanent space that could be used all year around. Watch our campaign video.

Thanks to the amazing support from local residents, businesses, and larger funders, our Crowdfund London campaign finished on 26th May 2020 with a total of £81,721 and 253 backers. Transform The Common Room was even awarded the maximum pledge of £50,000 from Mayor of London. Read more about our crowdfunding journey.

Our ambition is for The Common Room to be transformed into a fully-functional community learning and cultural space for the benefit of local residents, organisations, institutions, and businesses. The Common Room will be a space for our community to use and enjoy.

All elements of The Common Room have been designed with the community in mind and we will continue to make sure the space suits the needs and desires of our neighbourhood.

Roman Road Trust will host design workshops, consultation stalls and volunteering (Covid-19 permitting) to ensure local people are involved from start to finish. To stay updated, please sign up to our monthly newsletter and follow us across social media – just search: @romanroadtrust.

Building work is due to begin in spring 2021 and is scheduled to be complete in Sept 2021. You can stay up to date on the progress of the build at The Common Room: News & Updates.

  • Charitable Purpose Community Capacity, Urban Regeneration
  • Project Launch Year 2019
  • Co Producer Public Works
  • Funding Crowdfund London 2020

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