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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 079 - Mixing management structures

079 - Coin Street Community Builders

Coin Street, London, a mixed-use scheme that will include housing, a public park, managed workshops, leisure and other retail/commercial activities, a swimming pool and other community facilities when complete, is managed by a combination of a Trust and social enterprise, a management company, and fully-mutual co-operative.

Set up in 1974 by its residents, Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) works with the South Bank Employers’ Group (SBEG) to promote Coin Street and the wider South Bank. Commercial lettings are vetted to ensure quality and an appropriate mix and balance. The profits from these commercial activities plus members’ subscriptions (to the SBEG) and grant funding are used to cross-subsidise otherwise unviable activities and services. These include environmental improvements to the area, development of transport links and work with local schools to improve their facilities. The Trust invests over £250,000 a year towards the maintenance of the parks and riverside walkways that it owns.

CSCB has created a wholly owned subsidiary, South Bank Management Services Ltd, which manages the Oxo Tower, Gabriel’s Wharf, Bernie Spain Gardens and the river frontage who are responsible for collecting rents and service charges, gardening, litter clearing and marketing services. The Coin Street project employs approximately 35 full-time staff and makes use of professional consultants, such as architects, quantity surveyors, lawyers and project managers.

All four housing developments in the Coin Street area are run by fully-mutual co-operatives. Every adult tenant must become a member of the co-operative after completing a training programme and is expected to take an active part in running it. All decisions in the co-operative are taken by its members on the basis of one member, one vote. The tenants of the co-operative become shareholders in the company that owns the lease on the building and are responsible for maintaining its properties, collecting rents and selecting new tenants.

Other Information

  • Location: London Borough of Southwark
  • Project Team: Key partners: Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB), SouthBank Employers’ Group (SBEG)
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Managing Quality Placesace 

Gabriel’s Wharf is one of the projects managed by Coin Street Community Builders’ fully mutual co-operative. Opened in 1988 as a response to the needs of local workers, residents and visitors, its unique art shops, bars and restaurants have helped it become a key attraction on the South Bank.Images (image bank)