Supporting inclusive economic growth

Boosting the local economy and creating jobs by re-purposing council buildings

Waltham Forest Council

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Waltham Forest Council

Waltham Forest Council

Waltham Forest Council has pioneered a creative-led and culturally-driven approach to economic growth that sees culture as a binding thread running through all council economic growth policies. The approach links housing-led growth and policies to build economic resilience through job creation, fostering good work in order to build sustainable and liveable communities. Leading examples of this approach include the Central Parade and the newly opened Switchboard Studio. Both projects have taken former council offices and transformed these unloved buildings into urgently needed affordable creative and co-working spaces. First opportunities on affordable space go to the Borough’s own creative and cultural businesses, enabling them to grow, scale-up and contribute to economic growth locally. Businesses include not just designers, makers and artists, but also local cafes and entrepreneurs, ensuring that both Central Parade and Switchboard studios contribute to the life of their communities outside of working hours.