Creative businesses in Hackney Wick get funding boost

Thanks to the funding the cafe at Trowbridge Gardens will be transformed into a community podcasting and recording studio

Thanks to the funding one of the Trowbridge Gardens units and the public area at Thingy Cafe will be transformed into a community podcasting and recording studio - Credit: Hackney Council

Creative Hackney and Tower Hamlets' businesses in Hackney Wick and Fish Island will be getting a boost thanks to £100,000 worth of funding.

Nine grants ranging from £20,000 to £5,000 have been awarded for projects providing studios for the Hackney Wick community, more space for local artists and improved communal gardens for craft and nature workshops. 

Social enterprise Hackney Herbal will use the funding to create an eco-building at Trowbridge Gardens made of sustainably sourced and upcycled materials, for education workshops and events. 

Nat Mady, from Hackney Herbal, said: “[This] will give us some much needed protection from the elements as we are in the garden through all seasons and all weather."

The successful projects were awarded funding as part of the Space Makers Grants’ programme, which is funded through the Mayor of London’s Creative Enterprise Zone programme.

The funding the Mayor of London’s Creative Enterprise Zone programme, which designated London areas where help is given to artists and creative businesses. 

The Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone was established in 2018.

It is managed jointly by Hackney Council, Tower Hamlets Council and the London Legacy Development Corporation.

Fish Island's V22 creative space will use the funding to sub-divide larger spaces within its building to make them more affordable for artists, community groups and start-ups.

Tara Cranswick, director of V22, said: “After coming out of such a difficult time, it is very exciting to be building a space for collaborative projects to bring local people and our studio holders together."

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Hackney's mayor Philip Glanville says the Hackney Wick and Fish Island area is "one of London's most successful creative communities". 

"This funding is part of our commitment to keep it that way - allowing businesses to diversify and enhance their offer and contributing towards our aims for a fair recovery after the pandemic," he said. 

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs, said: “These grants are very welcome at a time when our creative and cultural industries have suffered so heavily in the wake of the pandemic."