Having commercial premises standing empty is a headache for the owner. They pay an empty business rates bill, while there is a risk of the property becoming dilapidated or occupied by squatters.

The cost of insurance and security is higher, while the property is also less noticeable and desirable to prospective tenants.

Even developers are keen to keep costs down and to keep their premises secure against hazards such as squatters and fly-tipping.

Making premises available to a charity saves on the rates bill and insurance costs. It also benefits the owner to have premises looking busy – as well as earning them the kudos of helping a good cause.

The charity-landlord partnership is widely accepted as the most ethical rates reduction solution by local and national government.

The use of retail, warehouse and office space for this purpose has been accepted by more than 100 local authorities and commended by MPs on both sides of the political spectrum.