Creative Works, a new creative workspace that will help to develop employment skills and help local young people to enter the creative industries.
The workspace is due to open on December 3rd after a combined £3.6m investment from Charity Bank, the Greater London Authority, and Big Issue Invest.
The vibrant and inspirational workspace in Waltham Forest, London, spans two floors of Gnome House, a refurbished 100-year old building that built engines for fighter planes during WW1. It will form part of a new “Big Creative Village” masterminded by Big Creative Education (BCE), a creative hub at the heart of the Blackhorse Lane regeneration area (E17).
An innovative place to learn, create & do business
Creative Works will act as a collaborative workspace for 100 creative industry professionals and SMEs. Hot desks, dedicated desks and private offices will be available to rent on flexible terms. A free Talent Incubator will be available to startup and early stage businesses with an innovative business idea ready to launch.
Businesses who decide to employ an apprentice from BCE will have access to a free desk. Trading surpluses from the letting of coworking space will be reinvested into subsidised rents and furthering the educational mission of BCE.
“A shared workspace and community for the 21st century in the heart of East London.”
Transforming lives through social investment
A Charity Bank loan enabled the social enterprise to purchase the building for its new co-working space. Founder and Managing Director of Big Creative Education & Creative Works, Alexis Michaelides, said:
“The journey began in 1999, when I first started teaching event promotions to a small group of young people on a housing estate in Waltham Forest. Nearly twenty years on and not only are we changing lives through Big Creative Training and Academy (BCE), but we can now extend our vision through the launch of Creative Works, a shared workspace and community for the 21st century in the heart of East London.”
“Through Charity Bank we’ve been introduced to a whole network [of support] that goes beyond funding.”
“The Greater London Authority agreed to fund 50% of the project on the condition that we find 50% from social investment. This was when we were introduced to Charity Bank, who partnered with Big Issue Invest to support our project. This has been my first experience of social investment and it’s really opened my eyes to what’s available out there.
“Through Charity Bank we’ve not only received a loan but have been introduced to a whole network of organisations that offer additional support that goes beyond funding.”
Creating a unique, artistic space
“A collection of artwork by local artists and designers will further reflect the Creative Works character and creative spirit.”
To bring inspiration to the design, Creative Works asked local designers and makers to help them furnish and decorate the space. Bespoke coworking desks, custom built bay dividers and private offices have been designed to provide privacy, ample storage and flexibility. A collection of artwork by local artists and designers will further reflect the interior’s character and creative spirit.
Additional features include a range of high spec meeting rooms, a boardroom containing a with video-conferencing suite that can also be used for small events and a fully equipped digital training suite. ‘The Square’ event space will host Creative Works’ exciting programme of social and industry events and can be hired for private use.
Charity Bank recently visited Big Creative Education as part of our Follow the Money campaign. Read more about our visit.
Last reviewed: 29/04/2020