The 3rd Space revives local High St


Kwesi Johnson

Kwesi Johnson

Kwesi Johnson is the Creative Director of The Cultural Assembly

The Cultural Assembly launched their first 3rd Space project in Southend on the 28th January 2021. This is the first venue in a network of creative pop up event spaces across the UK programmed by the community for the community and follows on from the successful 2 year pilot.

Their mission is ‘Together we create’, through the provision of accessible space, openness, support and community representation.

The Cultural Assembly repurpose buildings monuments and landmarks and have various creative space activation projects designed to connect and grow grass roots local involvement in the communities people live in.

As it is also a retail space with healthy foot fall, local makers are encouraged to represent their work in the space and drive their business or brand forward, which gives them the opportunity to test any new products, interact with their online customers with considerably less risk than taking on the full rent and lease of a retail shop.

Kwesi Johnson Director of The Cultural Assembly said “As well as offering support and mentoring to aid in the success of creative entrepreneurs we are committed to a sustainable approach, our spaces are driven by the people with least environmental impact by adopting a sustainable circular economy. We have used recycled materials to renovate our pop ups, that keeps costs low and provides an economical toolkit for other communities to adopt. We not only help individual artists in sustainable transition and grass roots organisations too.

Large cities have seen pop-up shops since the 1990s. An alternative to bricks and mortar, pop-up shops are short-term spaces that offer many benefits, including an avenue for testing, launching and selling products and services, building brand awareness and a customer base, and testing a location or market.

“A pop-up shop is for the most-needed type of entrepreneurship: small business,” says Maya Alexander Co- Founder of the Cultural Assembly “In the current entrepreneurial eco-system in the area, there are very few places to try out new ideas, test the market or for makers and creative entrepreneurs to work from as an affordable co-working space.”

The 3rd Space has been launched by The Cultural Assembly, it is the first of a network of similar spaces dedicated to community cohesion, entrepreneurialism and audiences in an experiential way.

The 3rd Space network of creative event spaces offer the opportunity for artists and entrepreneurs to try their ideas and test their business concept, The Cultural Assembly provides mentoring and support  if needed to activate the space and offer a more sustainable business model. The community are encouraged to “solve local” by supporting creative initiatives where the people can develop strategies and systems of support to sustain their livelihoods.

“We are delighted we can offer young entrepreneurs a space and opportunity to test their products and services with  retail window  presence addressing the needs of all our local high streets currently in transition says Maya Alexander, Co Founder.
“This offers makers and entrepreneurs trading online the invaluable space to interact with their customers, create a brand experience and take the first steps into real world economic market conditions, this unique opportunity is a natural collaboration with local artists because it aligns with our commitment to support and inspire local innovation and technology.  We wish all the participants good luck with their ventures and looking forward to the 3rd Space helping more high streets in transition.”

To find out more about 3rd Space and how you might use it, contact The Cultural Assembly at: or follow 3rd Space Southend on socials.

3rd Space

31 Southchurch Road, 

Southend on Sea, 


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