Work to construct a new home for creative industry in Edmonton has started.
The work, to convert the former VOSA building on the site of Enfield Council’s £6bn Meridian Water development, will create workspace for Building BloQs to provide to thousands of freelance designers, makers and small businesses, many of them local residents.
This new BLoQs workshop will provide 30,000sq feet of workspace and support up to 1,000 makers and creators across a range of departments – engineering, wood, metal, digital and additive technology, paint finishing, and a fashion studio for many years to come.
Workers will also have access to more than £1 million worth of light industrial equipment and there will also be new skills training facilities, a waterside café, gardens, a shop and event space all of which will be easily accessible to Enfield residents.
The construction project will also safeguard 84 jobs and create an extra 204 over the lifetime of the construction which is expected to last until spring 2021. The project is being funded through grant funding from the GLA and Enfield Council.
The jobs created will contribute to the target of providing 1,000 meanwhile jobs outlined in the Meridian Water Employment Strategy: Your Place to Make and Create.
Planning permission for the scheme was granted last year. Building BloQs is a key partner on Enfield Council’s Meridian Water development, which seeks to provide 10,000 homes and 6,000 jobs and to create 8.2 hectares of parkland in the Lea Valley over the coming 25 years.
Enfield Council has taken control of the vision and delivery of Meridian Water to ensure that local people are the principal beneficiaries. It aims to provide thousands of affordable homes and quality jobs in Enfield as well new schools, community and health services, nurseries, shops and youth and leisure facilities.
The Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “This is yet more evidence of the progress we are making at Meridian Water and a great example of helping a local business grow.
“This development will genuinely benefit local people both in the coming years and for decades to come and I am delighted that we are delivering a transformation project that will raise aspirations, improve peoples lives, tackle the housing crisis locally and provide good quality jobs and training at a time when they are most needed.
“In addition to supporting local people, this scheme enables us develop a skilled creative industries cluster in our borough which has the potential to be regionally significant for makers and creative communities. The expansion of the Building BloQs workshop will provide higher levels of employment than otherwise would have been realised.”
The Council has set out a clear vision for the project which puts placemaking at the heart of the project. The Council has focused on three pillars of placemaking: Parklife on Your Doorstep; Your Place to Make and Create; and Mixing Uses, Animating Streets. The partnership with Building BloQs is a strategic fit with the development’s Your Place to Make and Create pillar, as set out in its vision document.