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Share Somewhere is a venue finder for community spaces, making it easy for voluntary organisations and community groups to find low cost and under-used spaces and to rent them out.

It is being set up by the Youth United Foundation who work with national charities that have access to their own halls and centres, such as scouts and guides.

Why the ShareLab Fund?

Many halls are empty with no web presence or digital way of hiring them. The Youth United Foundation wanted to tap into the wide range of options that exist and help match these spaces to suitable users.

We want to create a platform that is open to everyone with the aim of benefiting any youth, community or voluntary organisation as well as engaging with the private sector.

Work as part of the ShareLab Fund programme

Through ShareLab, we will develop three important functions of the website: the wanted listings, calendar synchronisation and online booking.

The wanted listings, for guests seeking space, will emphasise the sharing element of the proposition, with guests not only listing their space requirements but also what they could offer in return. The website will then suggest suitable spaces using matching algorithms and subsequent alerts to the user.

Meanwhile, with synchronised calendars, it will be as simple as possible for hosts to link their existing booking calendars, bringing a huge benefit to guests seeking a space.

The advantage of having an online booking is that it allows us to test a business model based on commission from bookings. It also allows us to test whether the main incentive to use the platform could be the access to a useful tool for administering bookings, as opposed to the marketing benefits of the directory.

Hopes for the future

By creating a better flow of information, and introducing new community spaces into the market, groups will have a greater choice of meeting locations, organisations can consider pooling resources and standards will rise with expectations,

By Michael Carpenter, Head of Venue Sharing