In 2013 the newly formed Wantage Town Team were working on projects to improve the town centre, which included efforts to reduce the number of empty units in the centre (23 at that time). Nine of these units were on Mill Street, including number 15, now The Mix.
It was in a very poor state, inside and out, also affecting the take-up of neighbouring units that were ready to let. A rent free period was negotiated with the landlord in return for the unit being brought back to use. Sustainable Wantage took on the challenge of working with the Town Team to help make this happen and then renting the unit for community use.
With some funds from the District Council and a huge amount of volunteer support, including local tradesmen giving their time for free, The Mix Community Space came to be! In the early years we also had local support through a crowdfunding campaign, including contributions from the public, The Ray Collins Trust, Wantage Town Council and Oxfordshire County Council to help us get established.
“From a long-unused and unsightly empty unit, to a vibrant community hub … while our shops, salons, restaurants, cafes and non-retail businesses all play an important part in the long term vitality of our town centre, other uses, beyond ‘retail’, are crucial too, and The Mix is a great example of that.” Town Team member Iain Nicholson.