Save Ziferblat in London
Save Ziferblat in London
Ziferblat London, a free space for everyone to use, is in danger because of a misunderstanding with our landlord.
Ziferblat London, a free space for everyone to use, is in danger because of a misunderstanding with our landlord. Read more
Hey guys! As you know we'd started crowdfunding for the survival of Ziferblat in London. We are really grateful to everyone who supported us! We didn't really push this project forward and didn't mention about it much after its launch. The reason is because when we started it we received a lot of support from really good, helpful people. The main thing we gained from crowd sourcing was support from people from all kinds of businesses, such as Hackney City managers, journalists, lawyers and landlords, rather than money, which is why we weren't pushing it everyday. We wanted to be honest - when we received support from different people we thought it would be dishonest to still shout like we we're facing definite eviction because there was a hope. Yesterday, we finally met with the landlord and now we have a chance that we will be able to stay here if Hackney Council agrees that we can use that type of property how we use it now. But above all, if someday the situation reappears, we know that there are people who will help us. We have now stopped crowd funding, but thank you all for your generosity.
We also must say HUGE thanks to guys who helped us with a video: Irene Calvo Romero, Natalja Safronova, Edward Vijayavargiya, Francesco Corazzi.Thank you so much! We have a small present for you in the Z.
We are Ivan, Indira, Tom, Eva, Sophie and others! We are the Ziferblat team here in London and we have poured our effort and money into bringing Ziferblat, an exceptional social experiment and creative coworking space, from Russia to 388 Old Street. Despite high profile press and popularity with the locals, Ziferblat is facing eviction from the landlord and the prospect of setting up again with no funds left.
About the project
Ziferblat is a place where everyone can feel at home. Here you are free to be yourself; you can work, collaborate, make art, read a book, get acquainted with good people, attend events, — in other words, do whatever you like as long as you respect the space and the other people in it.
Ziferblat’s doors are open to everyone. Each Ziferblat guest becomes a micro-tenant of the space, responsible for it and able to influence its life. You will be welcomed by the Ziferblat community and able to work with them to help create, support, and develop this project. Everything is free inside except the time you spend there; and by paying for the time; you’ll be making a donation towards the further development of this social experiment.
Ziferblat is not a set of walls: Its people has a collective consciousness and an active interest in the fate and future of their city and planet. As such, each Ziferblat cultivates its own environmental programmes, joins forces with voluntary organisations, as well as improvement and restoration efforts in its city.
Initially we thought Ziferblat would be a small, nice cozy shelter for locals to socialise, work, study, collaborate, muse, make new friends, wash dishes together. But suddenly (and wonderfully!) TimeOut magazine called us “a contender for best opening of the year” on 7th of January 2014 and then all big media spoke about us. We became extremely popular not only as the place but also as the idea - which we are so happy about!
To go back a bit: We spent months searching out a place with the right look and feel, and in the end of November we established our first ever London chapter at 388 Old Street, Shoreditch. The landlord rightfully rented us the upper floor of his estate to Ziferblat as a coworking space (classified as B1 use in the property world).
The idea that Ziferblat is a cafe, which was the word some media used to describe us, drew red flags from our landlord. We now have a notice to leave because he believes a café/restaurant/or a kind of leisure place is running in his office space. We can't blame the landlord for misunderstanding, but we want to communicate that the word 'café' has been used because it is hard to find one word that covers everything we are. We understand that. But the only thing people pay for is the use of the space. We have no food at all and even tea and coffee is made by the tender hands of our splendid guests - you.
A restaurant or café is defined by UK planning as 'For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises'. We don't sell food or drink, we sell spacetime :)
It is also essential to mention that if we will be forced to rent a restaurant-like property in the future we probably will not survive because it will kill all intimacy and cosiness. Imagine yourself living on the ground floor with showcase windows inviting everyone to join your private life.
How can you help and where will your contributions go?
Should we get evicted, we need £45000 to pay large fees for e.g. ‘compensation for ‘breaches, fees, costs, charges, disbursements and expenses’ to the landlord, pay what it takes to rent a new place including deposits and rent for the first 6 months and pay any repairs that might need to be carried out in the new space. In the months between closing the old space and opening the new one, we will need to pay our team their salaries without the monthly income from our visitors.
Ziferblat and its community need your help to set up space again. However, if the misunderstanding is cleared up, donations will be used to open a second Ziferblat in London!
Please save this beautiful space that has proved to be needed for many of London’s good people.
Other forms of help
Property use class. The problem we face now is not only about this exact Ziferblat and its future but the future of the whole project – we know how many people want to open the same type of establishment with or without us. If there is no certainty to what use class in property law we belong to, we could be kicked out from any kind of premises. If we rent a restaurant property (A3) they could call us office, library, social club and force us to leave the moment they find someone who would pay more money in rent. We are looking for someone, especially from the local authority, who would help us understand what type of things we should do and who would be able to prove that to the authorities.
Good landlord. We believe that there are good landlords existing in this world. If you are a good landlord and you have a nice property that Ziferblat could fit into, and you are ready to rent it to us – we would be very happy to discuss that possibility.
Pop-up Ziferblat. If you have a venue or establishment where we could install Ziferblat during the time we are looking for a new space let us know!
Expertise. We believe that there should be authorised expertise of the thing that we do. We are trying to reach someone from the local authority but in case you know someone who can supervise this process – let us know!
Word of mouth. Of course we are looking not only for money but also for moral support and for spreading this information. We are really sad because of what is happening and your kind words will strongly help us to feel better and rejoice. Feel free to share this information online and among your friends and family.
Media support. We drew a huge wave of media-attention when we opened and we are very grateful for all those people who shared information about us and this idea. It’s a pity that misinterpretation of this information led to such sad consequences. We would be glad if the media will help us in this struggle and win one more time.
What do you get?
First of all, you will get Ziferblat. As said, by paying for time you share all expenses that Ziferblat has – rent, salaries, food etc. Paying along with other guests you participate in the existence of this space. Ziferblat is self-sustainable yet a nearly non-profitable project, so by donating money you invest into your own project, which you and other good people will be able to use and enjoy in the without being someone’s goldmine. It’s quite logical not only to maintain Ziferblat together but to create it entirely from scratch. And in Ziferblat’s world, people get paid back for their virtues.
We will thank each and every one of you in a way that will make you forever feel part of Ziferblat: without you, the project doesn’t exist. Your help will never be forgotten! Just look at this: all of you will get 1 free hour for each pound you donate plus extra presents depending on the amounts you invest. Literally, we give more then we receive. But it is all about giving out.
About Ziferblat itself:
About the situation:
EC1V9LT, 388 Old Street. London.
Risks and challenges
The only risk we have is that we could possibly be kicked out from any space we rent before we have official expertise of what to do and what types of property we can rent. Before renting a new space we will negotiate all these areas in detail with the local authorities and make sure that we have all the correct expertise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)