Our innovative Wick Workspace programme was possible through the transformation of three council-owned buildings - The Depot, which was little more than a scrap yard and is due to become a thriving hub of social enterprise, repairing and bringing back into use the Old Baths building and associated sports pitch, and the creation of a new business and community space at the Trowbridge Centre, previously a vacant Council property.
The Wick Workspace programme creates new affordable workspace, prioritising those faced with eviction and around 30 small and medium enterprises have already been helped to remain in the area. We have also created new community floorspace, which has been made available at little to no cost to use for community groups including a brand new youth sports facility which is due to open in 2021.
One of our tenants in the Trowbridge Centre, Boulevard Catering are an independent multi-award winning event catering family business who have been in Hackney Wick for over 20 years and are much-loved and have become a local institution. When the Trowbidge centre became vacant, they faced the risk of being pushed out of the area if the building was sold or repurposed, which would’ve been a blow for the area and one I could not let happen. Fortunately, we managed to help them remain locally as part of the Wick Workspace programme.
Creativity is not only the lifeblood of Hackney Wick, but also holds the answer to many of the challenges facing the area today. By not being afraid to think differently, and collaboratively, we, in public sector organisations can move quickly and create more efficient solutions that prioritise the needs of local businesses and community groups and safeguards their valuable contributions to the area.