Barking and Dagenham’s creative warehouse workshop idea receives boost from Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund

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Participatory City Foundation has received £850,000 of funding to support the build of a brand new creative hub in Dagenham.

Called The Warehouse, the 3,000 square-metre site in Dagenham East, which will be on land adjacent to the planned film studios, will offer free, flexible workshop spaces for metal, wood, digital, and fabric creation. The design will also include meeting rooms, kitchen and storage facilities, and event spaces.

The successful bid was made by the Participatory City Foundation, which launched the Every One Every Day initiative in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council in November 2017.

The ambitious scheme aims to work with at least 25,000 residents across the borough to create 250 neighbourhood-led projects and form more than 100 new businesses over the next five years.

Two walk-in centres have already opened – one in Barking and one in Dagenham – where residents are invited to share ideas for projects and businesses they would like to co-launch into their neighbourhoods. This can be anything from yoga classes and bee keeping, to batch cooking and cultivating community gardens.

Tessy Britton, Chief Executive of Participatory City Foundation, said: “We are delighted the Mayor of London has recognised the same exciting opportunities that we see in Barking and Dagenham for developing new inclusive growth models in collaboration with residents, the council and local organisations.

“This is a borough full of creativity and The Warehouse will help take the Every One Every Day initiative a step further, providing a long-lasting legacy where local people can nurture their ideas and creativity.”

The money is part of the Mayor of London’s £70million Good Growth Fund, which aims to support growth and community development across the capital.

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, said: “Barking and Dagenham is a borough that is changing, and this is just one of the many exciting projects happening right now in our borough as we become home to new industries.

“This new hub could be the creative kickstart for a number of new sectors and open a world of opportunities for the people who live and work here.”

Every One Every Day is a £7.2million, five-year project that has received funding from The Big Lottery Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, and Barking and Dagenham Council.

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “The Mayor and I are determined to use the Good Growth Fund to challenge preconceptions about how regeneration takes place. This project is a great example of how we can work with local communities on projects in a way that will help ensure the benefits are felt by all.”


Tessy Britton