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Bexley’s 1,270 garages should be converted to boost businesses, says new report

PUBLISHED: 10:50 20 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:50 20 January 2014

Empty disused garages in Bexley should be converted into commercial space to help boost businesses, a new report has claimed.

The new report, “From Lock Up To Start Up”, urges the borough’s 1,270 identified garages spaces to be converted into basic studios, workshops and offices to help start-up businesses.

The estimated cost of converting a garage into a business unit, including electrical rewiring, heating, insulation and decent internet connection, is £26,000, according to the report.

James Cleverly, Conservative London Assembly Member for Bexley and Bromley, insists “there are many more” garages which could be converted.

He said: “Enterprise is thriving in the UK but our research has found that many start-ups and micro businesses face high rents and tricky rental terms with landlords.

“Housing associations should invest some cash in doing them up, and if they’re not suitable for housing, offer them for rent to start-ups and micro businesses to help them grow.”

The report claims a housing association, if it charged a business £60 per week, would make back its £26,000 investment in around eight years.

The reports also calls for the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to pilot the conversion of an initial 300 garages to help start-up businesses grow.

The report ‘From Lock Up to Start Up’ can be accessed at: www.glaconservatives.co.uk/lusu

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