Hackney-based Creative Network Partners, who manage creative hubs Netil House and Hackney Downs Studios, are launching a new shopping area at the Studios this evening from 6 – 9pm.
The management team has transformed the Studios’ car park next to the onsite café – The Russet – into six new shops for local independent businesses. Named the Village Green, it is the latest in a series of developments designed to regenerate the former printworks into an arts and business hub.
Victoria Mace, general manager at Hackney Downs Studios, is excited about the project: “We’re here to stay. It will be a real destination in Hackney. We already have 400 residents in the Studios and are looking forward to adding a new creative retail element to our community.
“Only 15 months ago, Hackney Downs Studios was a disused printworks. Now it’s a community of over 400 people, all in beautiful spaces.”
Incoming businesses range from classic bike restorers, The Hackney Peddler, to ethical women’s wear shop, Multemyr. Independent art gallery and shop, Atomica, was inspired to set-up at the Studios following a successful stint as a pop-up gallery.
Co-owner Holly Lander, said: “We heard that Creative Network Partners wanted to put shops at the Studios, and we really like what they’re doing there already, so we thought we would give it a go. It’s all independent shops, which is great, and starting a project with other start-up businesses creates a good atmosphere – everyone’s in it together.”
Five of the shops are filled but there is still an exciting opportunity for a creative business to open at the Village Green, be that current or start-up. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Louise Wellby, communications officer at Creative Network Partners, says they want to keep it local: “We’re really proud of the fact that the Village Green has five independent local shops, they’re quirky – they do their own thing.
“Our emphasis is on local people. We want to look around the area and work with it, rather than impose something onto it. We don’t want to move in and make it an area that feels exclusive to local residents. Hackney Downs Studios is really community-focused, and since we’ve been there, we’ve tried to develop it as a real hub and focal point for the local area.”
To celebrate the launch of the new shopping outlet, the team is gearing up for a bit of a party tonight, with live music, shop samples and even go-go dancers. Bespoke craft beer makers Signature Brew (based at the Studios) and BULLDOG Gin have provided sponsorship, so expect some free alcohol.
For those of us who aren’t on a school night (or those of us who don’t care) The Russet will host an after-party featuring DJs until 2am.
The Village Green has plenty to offer the population of Hackney, or anyone else with a penchant for local produce, independent businesses and ethical buying. So let’s get together and celebrate it.
To reserve a spot at the party, email email@example.com
See below for location details:
By Emma Finamore and Sarah Howell