News News

Creative boost for businesses

by Marco Cillario Fri 21 October 2016, 11:09 am

Businesses at a creative hub which opened in Walthamstow during the summer have expressed their satisfaction with the space.

Nineteen enterprises have so far taken up space in Waltham Forest Council’s former costumer service centre at Central Parade, which provides space for up to 50 creative businesses to develop and showcase their work.

The initiative is part of a two-year meanwhile project which is being developed while the council considers development opportunities for the site.

It has been made possible by a £1.3 million investment for the enhancement of the area’s creative industry, which includes a £670,000 grant from the Greater London Authority’s High Street Fund.

The council worked with social enterprise Meanwhile Space CIC to refurbish the building and negotiate low rents and special short-term leases.

Applicants are assessed as to their local links and their potential contribution to the project and the area.

Textile artist Antonietta Torsiello told Invest Waltham Forest of her experience in the hub, saying a six-month lease had given her the chance to set up a shop for the first time.

She is now selling her own designs and leading public workshops in printing and painting in the creative hub.

“I don’t yet know what I will do after my lease is up. But this is giving me an idea of what having a physical base would mean for my business,” she explained.

Baker Alex Bettler also expressed satisfaction with being given the opportunity to set up his own cafe at Central Parade, where he is organising workshops that use bread as a form of communication.

“My personal interest has always been in the social aspect of having a cafe rather than in making money,” he said.

Councillor Clare Coghill, cabinet member for economic growth and high streets, said: “Waltham Forest is London’s fastest growing hotspot for culture and creativity, so it is ideal for us to be able to use this building to provide more space for local creative businesses to grow and thrive. 

“This project goes hand in hand with our other ambitions for the regeneration of Walthamstow town centre, which include the new Creative Industries Zone in Blackhorse Lane, the redevelopment of St James Street and the Blackhorse Lane housing zone.”

For more information about the spaces available to rent and details on how to apply visit


If you are interested in reading more about Waltham Forest, subscribe to our newsletter