A six storey building at the heart of Barking will become home to London’s most exciting makers, food stars, retailers, content creators, designers, social enterprises and start-up businesses, Councillors agreed last night.

The exciting plans to makeover Roycraft House on Linton Road, Barking, are the brainchild of Make it London, who were awarded the contract to give a new lease of life to the former-council offices following an open competition run by the council’s regeneration organisation, Be First.

Make It London have operated within the affordable and creative work and cultural space sector since 2013, with successful spaces in Bow and Hackney Wick. The team plans to transform the Roycraft House into a multi-faceted destination for the local community and for visitors alike. It will provide a workspace hub for independent businesses together with an event, cafe and community space, a rooftop garden, a vast coworking floor and a series of public-facing creative facility spaces.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, 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 Council has awarded Make It London a 10 year lease, and the company will now start a period of intensive engagement with local community organisations before starting work to re-model the building. The team expects to open for business by Summer 2022.

Hannah Briley, Managing Director of Make It London, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be reimagining Roycraft House into an exciting multi-use asset for Barking and Dagenham.

“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.

“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.

“And it’s not just about workspace, it’s cultural, retail, social and entertainment spaces that are going through flux too.

“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. It’s refreshing to finally see the attention shift from central London to fantastic boroughs like Barking and Dagenham and we’re really excited to be a part of that new perspective!”

Be First London