Canalside: the new food and retail hub for Hackney Wick’s hipsters

An artist's impression of the Canalside project

An artist's impression of the Canalside project - Credit: Archant

The £300 million former press centre in Queen Elizabeth Park has been converted into a new food and retail hub for Hackney Wick’s hipster community, potentially generating 7,500 jobs.

Here East’s Canalside is the latest project to join the 1.2 million sq ft site, which was seen as one of the more difficult Olympic locations to find a lasting use for. It will bring an eclectic mix of retailers to the Lee canal.

Shane’s on Canalside, whose head chef who forages for ingredients from nearby Hackney Marsh, and the Breakfast club, an all day family ‘caf’, are among the first shops to become a part of Here East’s Canalside project.

Nicole Alcee, of Shane’s, said: “we are looking forward to opening our store. The area is very up and coming and we are excited at being a part of the Olympic legacy. Local people are at the heart of everything we do.”

Jonathon Arana-Morton, founder of the Breakfast club, also decided to open a new branch in Canalside because of its trendy location.

“There’s a community atmosphere from the concentration of artists’ studios and media and tech spaces and we are first and foremost a neighbourhood caf.” He said.

Hackney mayor Jules Pipe hailed the project as a “testimony to the vibrancy and entrepreneurial spirit of Hackney.”

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He said: “It is great to see more job opportunities created for local people, which is something we have pushed for as a vital part of this development.”

David Edmonds, chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“Supporting independent businesses and providing jobs for local people is a key ambition of the London 2012 Games legacy so we are incredibly excited to welcome the first retailers to Here East’s Canalside.”