Hackney Downs Studios to get 40 new workspaces for creative firms

Hackney Downs Studios.

Hackney Downs Studios. - Credit: Archant

A creative studios site in Hackney Downs is getting up to 40 new workspaces thanks to a £1.2million investment.

Hackney Downs Studios.

Hackney Downs Studios. - Credit: Archant

Eat Work Art, which runs Hackney Downs Studios, will convert part of the old print factory into new studios ranging from 200 sq ft to 1,100 sq ft in size, 10 per cent of which will be affordable.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) predicts the loss or closure of 17 per cent of artist workspaces in London in the next five years as more warehouses and factories are converted into residential spaces.

Eat Work Art says the expansion, which will see the space grow by 15 per cent, will help meet demand for the creative community.

Founder and director Leo Lawson-O'Neil said: "We have noticed a sharp rise in the past six months of enquiries for large studio space.

"The departure of a long term theatre resident earlier this year presented us with a great opportunity to inject a fresh sense of energy back into a really quite cavernous building, so we decided to develop the space into new studios."

The first 10 studios will be ready in January, with another 20 arriving some time next year.

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The final 10 will be ready by mid-2021.

Resident map-maker and social entrepreneur Charlie Peel from Urban Good CIC said: "Our studio is always keen to have new and more diverse neighbours.

"We need collaborators on all of our projects which usually involve architects, graphic designers, researchers, writers and artists.

"In an ideal world those partners come from within our resident community.

"We look forward to seeing the new spaces open up, and a greater density of creatives to add to the already dynamic pool here."

A Hackney Council spokesperson said: "Our borough has undergone rapid economic development over the past decade, and it's vital that this change also benefits our small business community, which is at the heart of Hackney's economy.

"By maximising the delivery of affordable workspaces in the borough, local businesses can continue to grow and thrive in Hackney - benefiting both the economy and communities alike through the creation of jobs and opportunities."