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New opportunities for young people in Spitalfields


A new arts and leadership programme for young people is to run at the former Fruit and Wool Exchange in the heart of London’s Spitalfields.

Launched by Tower Hamlets Council on Friday 11 March, the centre on Brushfield Street will eventually provide access to job and career support for people living in the borough, but in the short-term will be run by Spotlight, our creative youth service, in partnership with Toynbee Hall.

The programme will address the lack of youth provision in this area and the gap in high quality arts provision.

A varied programme of activities is planned for young local people and residents, including exhibitions to highlight young artists’ work and accredited courses. The space will also be used for partnership meetings and events with youth providers, arts providers, voluntary, community and charitable groups.

Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Work, Economic Growth and Faith  officially opened the centre in Brushfield Street on Friday (11 March).

Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman, said:

“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. But in the short term, I am delighted that Poplar HARCA are using the space to run a programme for our young people. This will give them opportunities to also learn new skills, but demonstrate their talents and show their potential.”

Babu Bhattacherjee, our Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods said:

“We are thrilled to be bringing our innovative Spotlight arts and empowerment programmes for young people to this great new space in Spitalfields. We will be working with partners and local residents to provide an inspiring offer of community activities for all ages, aimed at increasing skills and helping everyone fulfil their aspirations.”

The centre is located in the basement of a new building, which sits behind the Fruit and Wool Exchange’s historic retained façade. It was gifted to the Tower Hamlets Council as part of planning obligations.



Tower Hamlets CouncilSpotlightToynbee Hall