Case Study
  • Posted on December 8th, 2023

Kiln Theatre – Supporting the Community During the Cost of Living Crisis

Inside Kiln Theatre, photo by Philip Vile

A case study from Kiln Theatre – a celebrated local theatre located in Kilburn, London.

The cost of living and fuel crisis caused a great deal of concern for many local people. We were also concerned about isolation in the community over the winter period. The rising cost of fuel also led to a higher likelihood of marginalisation and loneliness, which we felt we had the capacity to prevent as an organisation with a building.

We invited local communities to step inside, socialise, study, relax or refresh in our building. We wanted to offer a free, warm, welcoming space that was open for people to use as they wished on a regular weekly basis.

Our building was already open and heated throughout the winter, the space adjacent to our café and bar is open to the public during our theatre and cinema opening hours, so it was already fit for purpose. We wanted to create and open a safe space for people to meet and socialise.

Outside Kiln Theatre, photo by Philip Vile
Kiln Theatre, photo by Philip Vile

Opening our building meant that people could bring down their personal use of fossil fuels and save on their heating bills, which has been especially important during the recent energy crisis. The weekly warm spaces sessions had a positive impact on visitors and we had regular attendees who would use the space for the entire time that it was open.

The project was supported by Brent Council’s Warm Spaces Fund and we collaborated with Sufra NW London, a local charity working to tackle hunger and poverty whilst also providing community-based activities that empower individuals and families to overcome impoverishment and social isolation. Sufra NW London provided a hot nutritious vegetarian/vegan meal to those using our warm space.

What the period has highlighted is how our dependence on fossil fuels and the rising cost of living is linked with social justice. Using our facilities and building hopefully allowed us to take some of the financial burden off those who made use of the space. We will absolutely be looking to continue this scheme into the next winter.

This case study was written by Kiln Theatre.