New artist quarter planned for Murdoch’s old Fortress Wapping at London Dock
PUBLISHED: 17:23 01 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:23 01 April 2015
St George City
A deal for 90 new low-cost artist studios in the historic former London Docks near the Tower of London is set to become London’s newest artist quarter.
The studios become the first use for the Grade II-listed Regency warehouse in Pennington Street after Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Fortress Wapping’ printworks closed down when News International moved out four years ago.
The warehouse complex is to have shops, restaurants, galleries and offices.
Now added to this are the artist studios following a deal by developers St George City with east London’s Bow Arts Trust.
“The historic Pennington Street will be brought back to life as London’s newest arts quarter,” St George City managing director Craig Carson said.
“This fantastic vaulted building, with its rich history of trade and enterprise, will have incredible space to help young creative talent make the masterpieces of the future.”
Planning permission for the redevelopment was given by Tower Hamlets Council last year for the warehouse to be restored and brought into public use for the first time in 200 years.
Bow Arts Trust, which is marking its 20th anniversary running arts projects for Tower Hamlets schools, is to provide artists with training to encourage them into its educational programme.
Bow Arts Trust’s Marcel Baettig said: “The old rum warehouse is an amazing building which will be the perfect environment for emerging artists.”
The scheme for the docks complex, just five minutes’ walk from Tower Bridge, includes 200,000sq ft of commercial space, 1,800 homes and land for a six-form entry secondary school and sixth form college.
Construction started in September, with St George contributing £6 million for leisure facilities and local employment and training including 65 apprenticeships.
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