Stour Space is one of the first Asset of Community Value buildings in the UK and the last remaining Art and Community space in Fish Island (Hackney Wick), the recent recipient of the Mayor of London’s Creative Enterprise Zone.
With regeneration in East London almost fever pitch, Stour Space, along with other such spaces, has become a target for development, mainly due to the large area generally occupied and increasing desire for loft living.
Hubs As Strategic Spaces
How an innovation hub fits within a local community and the overall strategy of a local authority is a key strand of investigation for Haphazard Business. Understanding the complex nature of decisions and interests is essential in deciding where to create a new Innovation Hub and the likelihood of success.
Not-for-profit businesses like Stour Space are not like other commercially tenanted buildings. Hubs (or Space as referred here) offer a variety of uses for creative outputs, in this case, instrument making, crafts studios, bar, exhibitions, workshops, as well being as a community hub.
As Gillian Harwood, owner of Busworks in north London since 1970s eloquently discusses on her blog post here, threat of development and other pressures are not a new phenomena. How they are negotiated and coped with by individuals and interested parties is paramount to survival (or not) of such spaces as well as the importance of being able to adapt.
New Academic Centre Investigating Hubs
Queen Mary, University of London, has recently created Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy, known as ‘Network’ to investigate and document the changing landscape of hubs and their importance to the vibrancy and creativity of society. Details of the recent The Creative Work And The City Symposium can be found here.
This project and the centre will keep close contact throughout this Haphazard journey.