Hidden Harvest finally has their first fixed space and hope to grow after being chosen for Renew Wollongong's first space activation.
The social enterprise advocating to end food waste has teamed with Society City (a collective run book shop/co-working space/"free school") to takeover vacant retail upstairs at 274 Crown Street.
"We can potentially do more with less resources and add to our suit of activities," Hidden Harvest founder Berbel Franse said.
Open six days a week, both organisations have use of the space for free on a rolling 30-day license. Leasing agent Knight Frank will still be able to market the space and show prospective clients how it could be utilised.
The next space activation will be a gallery near H&M, showcasing works by Jennifer Anderson.
The urban revival concept was pioneered by Renew Newcastle a decade ago, and applied to the then run-down Hunter Street Mall.
By "activating" vacant spaces by giving creative types free, or cheap, access it was able to bring some 40 new projects and enterprises back to Newcastle – in turn spurring commercial tenants and shoppers.
"At any given time nationally maybe six per cent of all spaces are unused, if we can put a dent in that … that'd be a great outcome," Wollongong Deputy Lord Mayor David Brown said.
"The other thing is to showcase unusual, creative, community based enterprises which may not otherwise get a start."
The national initiative has already been rolled out in cities such as Geelong, Broken Hill and Warrnambool with the aim to make it permanent in Wollongong if successful.
Project manager Alice Henchion said there had been lots of interest expressed from start-ups and social enterprises.
"Our aim is to activate Wollongong, bring people in and create vibrancy," she said.
For more information on Renew Wollongong, phone: 02 4227 7110.
WHO IS HIDDEN HARVEST
Volunteer organisation Hidden Harvest aims to give the community the tools to tackle food wast and shape a sustainable future, according to their website.
Ms Franse said the new space would be utilised to deliver community dinners, lunches and hands-on workshops.
WHO IS SOCIETY CITY
The member-based collective has recently been born to offer a shared co-working space including creating zines, sell second-hand books, and a free school.
"[Teaching] practical skills to feminist philosophy, all kinds of progressive ideas which make people more enriched and better citizens," spokesperson Amy Fairall said.
Upstairs at 274 Crown Street is open 12-6pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Saturday.