Profiles: Poplar Works, London

Profiles: Poplar Works, London

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High land values in busy cities are a significant challenge for urban manufacturers. New ownership and rental models are being designed to provide an alternative to conventional market-oriented conditions and carve out space for small manufacturing firms. 

Providing secure space for manufacturers

In Poplar, East London, a new venture will co-locate workspace, manufacturing and education facilities to create a space for East London’s fashion economy.

Whilst only a short distance from the financial district in Canary Wharf, Poplar is not an affluent neighbourhood. Poplar HARCA, a not-for profit housing association which has been working in the area for 20 years, have established affordable and secure housing in the area, and are now looking to support the community with business space too. Poplar Works is a partnership between of Poplar HARCA, London College of Fashion,UAL and The Trampery, a workspace management firm. The 2000m2 purpose built space will situate 40 studios and a large manufacturing and training unit on the site of 100 former garages.

Alongside the space they will offer business support and seek to connect the firms with the local area, providing employment to local people.

The first space is set to open in the summer of 2019 and additional satellite sites in local developments are in the pipeline.

Stakeholders: Poplar HARCA (not for profit Housing and Regeneration Association), London College of Fashion, The Trampery (shared workspace management and business support), public authorities