Mayor pledges £2m million to East London fashion hub

Error message

  • Notice: Undefined offset: 2 in tb_megamenu_insert_tb_item() (line 343 of /var/www/poplarharca/sites/all/modules/tb_megamenu/
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 2 in tb_megamenu_insert_tb_item() (line 343 of /var/www/poplarharca/sites/all/modules/tb_megamenu/
The Mayor of London has announced £1,993,792 worth of investment into a package of innovative fashion projects across Poplar, Bow and Hackney Wick.

The funding will support the growth of London’s fashion talent, innovation and creativity. This is investment into an industry with strategic value to both the UK economy and for London’s East End, renowned for its rag trade and manufacturing heritage.

The funding was secured thorough a bid to the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund by ‘Fashion District’, a partnership convened by London College of Fashion, UAL and aligned with the UK Industrial Strategy. Fashion District brings together fashion, technology, business and education to meet, compete, collaborate and innovate. Fashion District is strengthening London’s position as the global capital of fashion technology, creating legacy and driving economic and social transformation in east London. 

The Fashion District bid, entitled Lower Lea Threads, will deliver a collection of workspace, skills development programmes and financing initiatives. It will create sustainable growth for the fashion industry across the Lower Lea Valley by supporting fashion entrepreneurs, students, local community groups, businesses and employees:

  • Fashioning Poplar Phase 2 (led by housing association Poplar HARCA): This is an extension of ‘Fashioning Poplar’, a project converting underutilised garages next to the A12 into affordable design studio space; education facilities and a garment manufacturing and training hub run by London College of Fashion, UAL; a café and community garden. Phase 2 will deliver an additional 31 affordable business units dedicated to fashion start-ups, contributing to 2448sqm of new fashion workspace across Fashioning Poplar.
  • Monier Road Studios (led by workspace provider The Trampery): The fit-out of 7 high-specification studios (441sqm of affordable workspace) for growth-stage fashion designers at Monier Road, supporting promising domestic brands to enter the competitive fashion market. It will cater to those labels that have come through earlier fashion support programmes, such as Fashioning Poplar, and are in a position to become larger job-creators and exporters.  The scheme is part of the broader 4,180sqm Fish Island Fashion Campus at the Olympic Park.
  • Loan financing to fashion SMEs (led by London Fashion Fund): Access to finance is one of the primary barriers to entry for many fashion start-ups. Good Growth funding will support a loan-financing scheme connecting retailers, designers and makers with a variety of investors and funding streams. Good Growth funding will be specifically targeted at early-stage fashion businesses with sustainable outcomes, supporting 25 fashion enterprises and leveraging a further £600,000 in private sector investment.

The Mayor’s £2m investment will leverage a further £4m worth of non-public funding for the projects. This includes ‘East Works: Fashion’, a comprehensive skills and business development programme across fashion workspaces and businesses within the Lower Lea Valley and Olympic Park, delivered by London Legacy Development Corporation, The Trampery and British Fashion Council. The scheme will work with industry to help 60 people into employment, upskill 100 people, sustain 51 jobs, as well as supporting 155 people and 35 businesses.

The fit-out of Monier Road Studios will be completed in September, the East Works: Fashion and the London Fashion Fund programmes will launch from autumn 2018 and Fashioning Poplar phase 2 will be completed in spring 2019.


What they said...

Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills said:

The Mayor and I are determined to use the Good Growth Fund to challenge preconceptions about how regeneration takes place. This project is a great example of how we can work with local communities on projects in a way that will help ensure the benefits are felt by all.”

Professor Frances Corner OBE, Head of London College of Fashion and Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of the Arts London said:  This investment will drive the growth of London’s fashion technology sector and bring meaningful economic and social transformation to East London. The Fashion District is a place where opportunities are being created and this funding will mean more of that. More workspace, more skills being developed and more businesses being supported. I’m delighted by what this could mean for the future of our fashion industry.”

Steve Stride, CEO, Poplar HARCA said: “The Mayor of London’s investment recognises East London’s rich fashion and manufacturing heritage and the important strategic role this can play in delivering future growth and opportunity across the Lower Lea Valley. For Poplar HARCA, this is about bringing fashion jobs, training and business opportunities back to the East End, which are fully accessible to local people and the wider community. It’s a hugely exciting time for Poplar.”

Charles Armstrong, Founder and CEO, The Trampery said: ‘When our London Fields fashion workspace was forced to close in 2015 we made a public commitment to come back with even better facilities and dedicated business support for London’s most talented emerging labels. Monier Road Studios is the first element of what will become London’s largest campus of fashion studios, and a key plank of Fashion District. We’re thrilled GLA is supporting us to provide these foundations for the next generation of London’s fashion industry.’

Professor John French, Chairman, London Fashion Fund: ‘This is a pivotal moment for early stage fashion entrepreneurs in East London because we can provide effective support and business acceleration and attract private sector funding into their businesses’

Paul Brickell, Executive Director of Regeneration and Community Partnership at LLDC said: “This partnership is a very good example of what can happen when institutions of this quality come together. This is just a taster of what will be created when the Culture and Education District is based on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will be at the heart of an exciting cluster of innovators, with higher education providers, cultural institutions and businesses spreading benefit beyond the boundary of the Park, and creating high quality training opportunities for local people.”

Have your say


Thank you!

Your information has been successfully sent and we appreciate you contacting us. We'll be in touch soon.