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Hackney Wick is a vibrant and distinctive part of London with a long and rich history. It’s home to a world class creative quarter with 250 artist studios and around 100 creative businesses, and also long standing residential neighbourhoods with a high proportion of social housing.
Hackney Wick has grown in popularity since the 2012 London Olympics, but it’s susceptible to change. With different landowners and organisations involved, we can not control all of this change, but we will use our assets and influence to ensure local businesses and residents are first to benefit.
That means intervening to build a fairer, greener and more inclusive economy for Hackney Wick, that everyone can feel part of. We’ve collaborated with our partner organisations, to put planning rules in place controlling development and ensure existing small businesses are provided with genuinely affordable workspace in new buildings.
We’ve also refurbished some of our buildings to provide temporary affordable workspace, ensuring the small businesses who are being relocated due to redevelopment can remain in the area until new buildings are completed.
As well as preserving what’s most important about Hackney Wick, the change also provides an opportunity to improve amenities for new and existing residents in a part of Hackney that’s previously been disconnected from other parts of the borough and suffered a relative lack of facilities in the town centre.
What’s happening in Hackney Wick?
We’re using Council assets to deliver affordable community space and workspace for local businesses and community groups who are at risk to use at reduced rates. This is in response to what the people and businesses of Hackney Wick have told us they need.
As well as transforming our own buildings into affordable work and community spaces, the Wick Workspaces project will provide new sports, culture and training opportunities for local people.
In collaboration with local workspace operators, we are refurbishing the Baths and Depot site and the nearby Trowbridge Gardens to offer a range of services, amenities and opportunities for residents and businesses, including:
- business premises
- work and training opportunities
- sports facilities
- music and arts
- food growing and horticulture
- community events
Hackney Wick and Fish Island (HWFI) Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) is jointly run by Hackney Council and Tower Hamlets Council in partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation.
The Creative Enterprise Zone initiative is a key manifesto priority for the Mayor of London to protect the creative sector in the capital, increase affordable spaces for artists and entrepreneurs, and boost job and training opportunities for local people by allowing artists to put down roots and grow successful businesses.
The Hackney Wick and Fish Island CEZ focuses on protecting one of the world’s most recognisable ‘at risk’ communities of creators by maintaining affordable workspace, increasing skills and training for local people and securing the long term future of the area’s cultural anchors, including artists, makers, designers and performers working across the cultural, creative, digital and tech industries.
We are refurbishing Council-owned buildings to provide affordable workspaces and have agreed strict planning rules that protect 8,500sq m of affordable workspace with rent caps as well as provision for a purpose-built theatre and community space.
Locality and community is key for HWFI with around 75% of the workforce also living locally.
Along with our partners, we will be launching a Good Growth Hub to ensure young people across Hackney and Tower Hamlets are connected into opportunities within the CEZ and we’ve already launched new affordable workspace and community space at Trowbridge Gardens and The Baths, and an additional 10,000 sq ft of new affordable space will be enhanced under the CEZ.
For more information, please visit see Hackney Wick and Fish Island.
A grant scheme is helping 9 creative businesses in Hackney Wick and Fish Island gain access to new equipment or enhance their workspaces, with a combined £100,000 in funding.
The space makers grants programme is funded through the Mayor of London’s Creative Enterprise Zone scheme.
These are designated areas of London where help is given to artists and creative businesses to start-up and grow; find permanent affordable space to work – and where local people are helped to learn creative sector skills and find new jobs. The Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone was established in 2018.
The grants programme is managed jointly by Hackney Council, Tower Hamlets Council and the London Legacy Development Corporation.
It’s part of a commitment shared by the local authorities to preserve creative workspace, through a combination of rent cap policies, strong provision of employment space in new developments and Council-led projects such as Wick Workspaces.
As well as enabling businesses and enterprises to modernise and diversify, the programme aims to stimulate innovation, helping to preserve and enhance an area known for its diverse and successful creative economy.
The Gascoyne 2 community hall, situated on the Gascoyne Estate, was redeveloped with funding from Hackney Council to create an inclusive space for local residents, businesses and the wider community to benefit from.
The community hall is one of the largest in Hackney and is free-to-use during working hours, when community groups and local residents can host their own meetings, events and other activities. They can also book the community hall outside of these times.
The renovated space boasts free wi-fi, a huge hall and modern kitchen facilities for neighbours. It will also provide youth services, in response to requests from local residents.
The community hall is a permanent base for staff from Hackney Works, the council team helping people into employment and training, as well as serving as a base for other council services, such as Public Health, Resident Participation and Housing Services.
Hackney Wick Station is on the London Overground and will play a vital role in the transformation of this area of east London.
In 2018, the station benefitted from a multimillion pound upgrade, part-funded by the Council, which has provided a new underpass, lifts and overall improved access to the station.
The redevelopment of Hackney Wick Station forms the first phase of the overall delivery of a new mixed-use neighbourhood.
The upgrade will bring new homes and businesses to the area and provide further support for existing businesses, with users of the station having better access than before.
In advance of a new northern entrance being delivered as part of a Telford Homes development, the Council and LLDC will be opening a temporary entrance onto Wallis Road to access the station.
Hackney Wick and Fish Island have a rich heritage of industry, enterprise, manufacture and trade. The new Hackney Wick Neighbourhood Centre is at the centre of one of London’s first Creative Enterprise Zones and is a flourishing London quarter, typified by an exciting employment offer of local independent industry, makers, artists and creative businesses.
It sits to the west of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the new communities of Eastwick and Sweetwater to the east, and is one of three new neighbourhood centres in the LLDC area.o The masterplan seeks to deliver a mixed-use scheme of up to 119,242 sqm GIA floorspace comprising of:
- 78,931 sqm residential (Class C3)
- 29,908 sqm employment space (ClassB1a, B1c)
- 4,493 sqm retail uses (Class A1-A4)
- 2,318sqm community space (Class D1/D2)
- 23,359 sqm public realm, open space and associated vehicular access
The London Legacy Development Corporation has selected Notting Hill Genesis to develop three strategic sites close to the newly refurbished Hackney Wick Overground Station, next to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The Council is working to resolve the challenge of access to affordable workspace in Hackney Wick and Fish Island, as part of the Mayor of London’s Resilience Fund. We’re looking at innovative fit-out solutions to increase the affordability and occupancy of commercial space at the ground floor of new build development. We’ve developed an online platform that supports landlords, businesses, community organisations, and workspace providers to transform large empty shell and core commercial units into suitable workspace. The website provides step by step information to partition spaces efficiently, in accordance with the latest building regulations and using a proven model.