Southwark council has approved a planning application from Lend Lease to create new retail and creative hub on the former Heygate Estate near Elephant and Castle using 50 recycled shipping containers.
The project will provide low cost business and retail space for creative and start-up companies in Southwark, as part of the latest regeneration initiative by Southwark Council and Lend Lease.
The temporary new facility is designed to bring life and activity to the area during its redevelopment and to act as an ‘incubator’ for entrepreneurs.
It is hoped that many of the retailers and businesses that join the Artworks will eventually take permanent space along the brand new high street on Walworth Road and Heygate Street that will be created as part of Elephant & Castle's £3 billion regeneration programme.
Artworks Elephant will provide space for about 60 different occupiers, focusing on small and start-up companies.
Pascal Mittermaier, Lend Lease’s Project Director for Elephant & Castle, commented:
"We want to transform Elephant & Castle for the better and a vital part of this is improving the local economy and retail environment.
"We understand from other major urban regenerations which we have delivered elsewhere in the world how difficult it can be for early stage businesses to find affordable space to rent in expensive cities such as London.
"Artworks Elephant will help to break down some of those barriers and provide an interesting and vibrant place that we hope will encourage local people and visitors alike to spend their money and time in the Elephant.
"This is just one of the many early benefits which the regeneration will deliver for the local economy."
Cllr Colley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Southwark, commented:
"The idea of the interim uses and creative projects in and around Elephant & Castle is to make sure that Walworth continues to thrive during substantial change, especially while the demolition and construction work takes place.
"Walworth is already a popular area for artists and students in the creative industries and is a hub for small businesses and independent retail.
"Artworks will provide temporary space for more of these types of business and support our drive to boost the local economy."
A new website for the local community, which explains the council's plans for the regeneration of Old Kent Road, has been launched