doc

More than 200 empty garages in Waltham Forest should be converted into affordable work spaces, according to the Conservatives.

London Assembly Tories say the disused spaces would be ideal for start-up businesses and cheap to convert.

Assembly member Andrew Boff says start-ups and small businesses face high rent which inhibits their growth.

“We have identified 222 garages lying empty across Waltham Forest,” he said.

“The reality is that there are many more. 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.”

He said businesses such as cycle mechanics, carpenters and product designers would be suited well to using garage-sized spaces.

At an estimated cost of £26,000 to convert a garage into a business unit the Conservatives say housing associations could make initial investments back in eight years charging £60 a week in rent.