Southwark Council has given planning permission for the creation of a temporary business park housed in recycled shipping containers on the site of the former Heygate Estate.
The new facility, which will be known as Artworks Elephant, is designed as incubator space for fledgling businesses and retailers.
It is due to be constructed from 50 innovatively refurbished containers that will provide space for around 60 different occupiers, centred around a restaurant and café area.
Developer Lend Lease, which is Southwark’s partner on the wider Heygate Estate regeneration scheme, said it was hoped that some of the businesses moving to the Artworks development would ultimately take permanent space on the new “high street” area planned for the development.
Pascal Mittermaier, Lend Lease’s project director for Elephant & Castle, said the pop-up business park would help to break down some of the barriers that start-up businesses faced, and provide an interesting and vibrant place for local people and visitors to spend their time and money.
“This is just one of the many early benefits which the regeneration will deliver for the local economy,” he said.
Councillor Fiona Colley, Southwark’s regeneration lead, said the temporary development would ensure that the area continued to thrive during a period of substantial change.
“Walworth is already a popular area for artists and students in the creative industries and is a hub for small businesses and independent retail,” she said.
Lend Lease said the new container units would be charged at all-inclusive rents, and that the development was expected to open early next year.
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