St Laurence's, Norwich

St Laurence's Church, Norwich, Norfolk

A Common Room for Norwich

The Common Room was a partnership with the local community, Civic Systems Lab and the CCT to trial the transformation of St Laurence's church into a new type of shared space, made and shaped collectively by the community, and run on the principles of collaboration, connection and resourcefulness.

Based on a co-operative membership model, the communtiy had access to the space, to meet people, experiment with ideas and start new projects that would benefit the community.

The idea was for this centrally located building to become a shared resource and a platform for people and organisations across Norwich - providing a space for community activities, enterprise exploration, collaborative innovation, co-working and more – taking lessons from a variety of innovative and successful projects and ventures created elsewhere in the UK and beyond.

One objective of the project was co-design and a number of consultations took place, including Make Day in 2013 (see report below).  This was one of a series of tools and events used to engage with the community to ensure a bottom-up approach to project development. 

Click below to see the Make Day 2013 Report:



The Common Room project review

The project was piloted between September 2012 and December 2014.  During that time, The Common Room recruited 200 members, held over 100 events and piloted six community projects.

The Common Room was part of Heritage Recycled (HERE), an output of which was an options appraisal for the church.  The full report can be found on the HERE website.

Although the pilot has come to an end, the ethos of The Common Room (TCR) project goes on and the building continues to be used for community activities.  Information on TCR-related events and activities can be found on the facebook page here.




This project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund from the EU's Interreg IV A 2 seas programme.  Click here for further details.