This morning, Currell had the pleasure of attending Bisnow’s Future of East London event, hosted at the new Goodluck Hope development in the heart of the Docklands.
In true east London fashion, the event was held in a warehouse, with guests walking through a mini rainforest to get to the sales and marketing suite. The event was very fascinating, despite the cold weather!
The event consisted of a breakfast networking session, followed by two panel discussions.
The first was about east London as a true melting pot of culture, education and business – and what this means for developers. Some interesting points were raised by all panelists, who agreed that east London is one of the fastest changing and most diverse areas of London. With this in mind, investment in education and creative industries are key, with a particular focus on prioritising opportunities for local residents, especially young people.
Tim Reeve, COO of the Victoria and Albert Museum, discussed the new V&A East which is set to open in the Olympic Park in 2023. With east London being home to some of the poorest boroughs in the country, he discussed how to reconnect with their audience, especially with young people through the education syllabus. V&A East will differ hugely to the original V&A in South Kensington – with a completely different tone, presenting art in a way that is useful and accessible to young local people that want to pursue a career in the creative industries.
Another interesting point was raised about tourism, and the influx of people coming to stay in the east as opposed to central London. Elli Jafari, Managing Director of The Curtain hotel in Shoreditch, said that she’s seen tremendous amounts of interest from all sectors of tourism – not just young people coming to London for leisure. Professionals travelling for business who are used to staying at five star hotels in the City are now now willing to venture to the outer edges, and say they loved staying in Shoreditch.
The second panel talk focused on work spaces in east London. Although east London offices have traditionally been synonymous with trendy startups, creatives, and tech companies, this is beginning to change. Georgina Philippou, COO of the Financial Conduct Authority, discussed her company’s move to their brand new office space in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. East London seems to be the most favourable place to build new places to work, as there’s much more land to build on, instead of trying to cram workers into pre-existing spaces.
The topic of wellness among working people was also discussed. Jacob Loftus, Founder & CEO at General Projects, talked about the emphasis developers are now placing on wellbeing for staff. Beyond the standard measures such as healthy food and fitness facilities, the focus is now shifting to accommodate mental health as well as physical. Outdoor spaces, relaxation/meditation areas, and a general attention to natural environments and comforts are coming to the forefront, as people are encouraged to take breaks from their screens and focus their minds elsewhere.
All in all, the event was a great insight into the different industries that are shaping east London’s revival, and we look forward to what’s to come in the future.