A new space opens for a Tower Hamlets’ youth arts and leadership programme

The Fruit and Wool Exchange building, where the programme will be run. Pic: Gürkan Sengün

Space for an arts and leadership programme for young people in Tower Hamlets has been launched by the borough council.

The programme is set to function for a short-term basis, before the space is eventually turned into an employment and skills centre for the borough’s residents in the near future. It will be run by Spotlight, a community youth service that offers young people in the borough volunteering opportunities, arts and culture events, and career advice and support.

The programme will provide the space for art exhibitions and events hosted by charity and community groups, and it will aim to promote the work of young local artists.

The space is located in the basement of the Fruit and Wool Exchange building on Brushfield Street in the Spitalfields area, next to Spitalfields Market

The launch last Friday was attended by members of Tower Hamlets Council, including Councillor Motin Uz-Zaman, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Work, Economic Growth and Faith, and the borough’s Mayor, John Biggs.

Uz-Zaman said he is “delighted” about the arts and leadership programme. “This will give them opportunities to learn new skills, but also to demonstrate their talents and show their potential.”

The Spotlight youth service is part of Poplar HARCA, the housing association which runs community projects and funding for new homes, education, healthcare, faith buildings and community spaces.

Babu Bhattacherjee, Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods for Poplar HARCA said:We are thrilled to be bringing our innovative Spotlight arts and empowerment programmes for young people to this great new space in Spitalfields” and said that the space will “provide an inspiring offer of community activities for all ages, aimed at increasing skills and helping everyone fulfil their aspirations.

Biggs said he is “looking forward to seeing the results from this new centre”, and that the council is “committed to supporting residents into employment…we’re working hard to support our borough’s recovery from the pandemic.”

Uz-Zaman added: “This is a great resource for the people of Tower Hamlets in a busy part of our borough…Our long-term plan for this is for an employment centre that will help people get the skills they need to progress in their career”.

Leave a Reply