10,000 sq ft of artist studio space will shortly become available in South Bermondsey.
A major expansion means much more workspace will soon be on offer at the Toaster Factory in Penarth Street.
The Toaster Factory is already home to a creative and manufacturing community based in eight studios. Now, a new self-contained unit of just under 2,000 sq ft has been completed and more than 10,000 sq ft of additional space will be rolled-out by Christmas. The new space will be partitioned to accommodate the needs of different sized businesses.
The building itself is a former Dualit Toaster factory, just off Old Kent Road.
Since it was purchased by James Glancy Design in 2003, this one-acre site has primarily been used for designing and manufacturing large scale Christmas installations, such as those seen in the West End at Regent Street and Carnaby Street.
In 2015, ancillary space was rented out to Studio Makecreate.
James Glancy Design and Studio Makecreate have since collaborated to re-imagine under-used parts of the building as workspace for artists, creative businesses and manufacturers. The space is flexible which ensures a good mix of uses; from single desk-spaces to small studio rooms of 300 sq ft to light industrial units of 2,000 sq ft.
The building currently houses eight sole-trading artists and designers and six creative or manufacturing businesses. These include Alexis Cawley, a bespoke jeans designer formerly based at V22 Studios on Ilderton Road. When not designing his range of denim clothing, Alexis lectures at the London College of Fashion.
James Glancy wants the Toaster Factory to become a real driving force in the local economy. With the addition of 10,000 sq ft of extra space, the team want the factory to provide more than just workspace. This might involve open access facilities; teaching practical and creative skills; a cafe and bookable meeting rooms and much more besides.
Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning at Southwark Council said this was another excellent example of local community businesses coming together to benefit others:
“Our vision for Old Kent Road is to build on its unique creative character as a place where industry can thrive alongside new homes and quality open spaces. As someone who is proud of growing up in this area, I know the importance of small businesses getting their foot on that first rung of the ladder and this is a great example of doing just that.”
James Glancy is proud of what he’s achieved. He said:
“This is a shared vision with Southwark Council for the regeneration of this part of the borough. Focusing on this as a hub, with a vibrant and exciting feel, is a key driver for building the Toaster Factory community.
Our business has benefited so much from moving here 16 years ago (when we came out of the arches under London Bridge). So it’s such an exciting prospect that it can now provide an opportunity to do the same for a whole new generation of businesses.”
Find out more about the Toaster Factory studio space