The first phase, Poplar Works, has converted over 100 redundant garages and a boiler house alongside the A12 into a multi-faceted fashion workspace. The space includes manufacturing, design and innovation, delivered in partnership with London College of Fashion, UAL, The Trampery and the Greater London Authority.
Poplar Works is just the first step in seeding a burgeoning industry within and around the Poplar Riverside area in the Lower Lea as it undergoes seismic physical and demographic change. An industry which will deliver social, economic and cultural regeneration, and forge a strong, saleable area identity. Ultimately producing a sustainably accessible, authentic and ambitious place for the benefit of Poplar and East London, current and future.
Local regeneration and fashion sector contexts hold the opportunity to build a sizeable cluster of inter-related fashion and creative workspace in Poplar and beyond. Residential-led schemes in the Lower Lea Valley, often on brownfield sites, will deliver thousands of homes and considerable commercial space in the next decade. Meanwhile, GLA Culture and Regeneration strategies are focusing on the huge undersupply of fashion and creative workspace and production facilities in East London.
Utilising loan financing, increased land and residential values and new revenue streams, there is an opportunity to secure and curate a financially self-sufficient workspace cluster which benefits residents, developers and local authorities. At present 9 sites have been identified as deliverable over the next 10 years. Including Poplar Works, this would deliver a creative workspace cluster of 40,000 sqm – supporting 650 businesses and creating 3,500 jobs.