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LTGDC land purchase from Rock receiver set to establish new creative hub in Hackney Wick
July 14th, 2010
A creative hub as the ‘new heart’ of Hackney Wick and Fish Island is the driver behind the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s (LTGDC) purchase of land at Hackney Wick and Fish Island, its Chief Executive Peter Andrews said today.
The seven land plots and buildings purchased are around Hackney Wick Station and make up over 1.64 acres. Three are vacant plots to the north and will be used to facilitate access improvement to the station entrance and neighbouring public space. The remaining plots that neighbour White Post Lane, house Victorian warehouse buildings with some in occupation. Plans to reorganise the sites and occupations are being worked on.
Previous owners -Paul Kemsley’s Rock Group - bought the site as part of a larger land portfolio at the height of the market for residential development. The stalled site was mothballed and in the hands of administrators.
LTGDC’s vision for Hackney and Fish Island – an area directly adjacent to the Olympic Park – is for a mixed use sustainable community offering a unique place to live and work with improved transport access and superior open space. With a blend of new workspaces, housing, studios, galleries, cafes and shops tomorrow’s Hackney Wick would be a high energy, diverse and well connected district.
The creative hub would provide the environment to nurture the creative businesses already in place while attracting and encouraging growth of similar businesses to the area. As the new heart, development within the Hub would aim to complement the reuse of existing warehouse buildings and create a mixed use environment focused around a variety of employment and supporting uses.
Prospects for creative industry growth in Hackney Wick and Fish Island are positive. Research by Tom Flemming Creative Consultancy into options for securing creative businesses growth in the area cited the spotlight of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the presence of the 25,000 square foot IBC/MPC centre and its lure for high end media companies to locate and the improving access to the area by road and rail.
Working with the London Development Agency (LDA) and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), LTGDC injected £3m into improving access to and through Hackney Wick. The investment will see neglected alleyways and paths widened and resurfaced underpasses and pedestrian bridges improved with new lighting and CCTV, a new road crossing and public space created, and better way-finding.
Commenting on the acquisition and the impact on the area of LTGDC’s investment, Peter Andrews Chief Executive said:
‘With already established creative businesses and Olympic Park and IBC/MPC close by, Hackney Wick is more than capable of emerging from underneath the shadow of the Olympic stadium to become the next destination for creative industry creation and growth after the 2012 Games.
‘Our land purchase aims to create the supporting infrastructure of good transport access and excellent public space and to speed the successful transition of the area to create a new district with great character and vibrancy.’