Former council offices to be transformed into 'workspace and cultural hub'

Make It London is set to transform former council offices at Roycraft House, Barking into a cultural hub

Make It London is set to transform former council offices at Roycraft House, Barking into a cultural hub - Credit: Make It London

A new work and event space is set to be created at former council offices in Barking.

Roycraft House, in Linton Road, is now set to be revamped and become home to retailers, designers and start-up businesses.

The proposals for the six-storey building have been created by Make It London, which was awarded the contract for the project by Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council's regeneration arm.

Cabinet members agreed for the council to enter into a ten-year lease with the company at a meeting on Tuesday (September 21).

Hannah Briley, Make It London's managing director, said it is delighted to be turning Roycraft House into a "multi-use asset" for the borough.

"We believe there are some seriously exciting businesses and talent in the area who will thrive in an inclusive and flexible work environment.

“The last 18 months have been a real eye-opener for the workspace sector, with a lot of positives to take from the changes in the ways we now live and work.

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“People are more imaginative with their business ideas than ever and there’s huge demand for flexibility from both freelancers and those who no longer need to travel to an office in central London."

Hannah said cultural, retail, social and entertainment spaces are also "going through flux".

She added: “People are spending more and more time where they live and communities want and need to see local neighbourhood and town centre spaces reimagined into positive multi-use destinations where they can work, eat, drink, play, shop and socialise right on their doorstep.

“This is exactly our vision for Roycraft House, to create a destination for everyone to enjoy."

Make It London will now talk to community groups before starting work on the building.

Once complete, it is set to include a workspace hub for independent businesses, an event, cafe and community space, rooftop garden and co-working floor.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development at Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “Make It London will add to the buzz around Barking, generating jobs through the provision of affordable and inclusive workspaces for all and generating excitement with a cultural hub for use by and with the community."

The hub is expected to open next summer.