General Projects to create one of London’s largest maker and creative industries quarters

General Projects and the Waterfront Studios Limited Partnership has acquired a key part of a thriving creative industries district in North London, with the aim of both enhancing the existing heritage buildings and developing a new purpose-built quarter to house London’s next generation of creative manufacturing businesses.

The £33.8m acquisition comprises a mixed-use campus including 90,000 sq ft of former warehousing and factory spaces, alongside 41 loft apartments and a 1.5-acre vacant development site.

The 3.5 acre site is located in the heart of the Harringay Warehouse District, a vibrant industrial neighbourhood that is home to hundreds of artists and creative manufacturing business. General Projects plans to enhance and grow the existing community, delivering one of London’s largest hubs for creative SME businesses seeking space to design, create, produce and distribute independent products.

The existing campus, known as Florentia Clothing Village, was established over 35 years ago as a hub for small businesses in the garment industries. It has continually evolved into a local hub for entrepreneurs and is now home to over 40 local businesses crafting products that span textiles, furniture, clothing, food, bicycles, and consumer products.

Over the next 12 months, General Projects will bring forward a planning application for a 100,000 sq ft extension on the vacant land to double the size of the campus, aiming to create a cluster of over 150 like-minded independent creative design and manufacturing businesses. The new buildings will be designed purposefully to meet the specific needs of a range of different light manufacturing businesses, as well as makers and creative industries, and will provide new amenities.

The existing characterful heritage buildings, which date from 1930, will be retained and modernised to ensure they continue to provide best-in class spaces to meet the evolving needs of the occupiers. The diverse community based at the existing village have been consulted on the acquisition and will be retained and supported through the transition.

Existing occupiers, the wider local community and key stakeholders will be fully engaged as the plans evolve and a substantial community wealth building programme has been planned to provide apprenticeships and mentoring to local young people to support the new employment opportunities that will be created by the project.

Jacob Loftus, General Projects CEO said: “Affordable, fit for purpose, creative industrial spaces in London have been increasingly disappearing over the past 15 years, putting immense pressure on independent businesses in the design and manufacturing industries. Over the past 30 years Florentia has been home to a thriving cluster of fashion-based businesses, we are honoured to take over the custodianship of this wonderful hidden gem, and are excited to expand the complex to become London’s biggest hub for SME maker businesses – establishing a new benchmark for modern, design led, creator-spaces.”

The Harringay Warehouse District, also known locally as Manor House Warehouses, is part of the Tottenham Creative Enterprise Zone and is a strategically important employment site in North London. Dating back to the early 1900s, the area was originally one of the main centres of employment of the former Municipal Borough of Tottenham. The first employer was Wine Gum manufacture, Maynard’s, followed by furniture, piano, electrical and a whole host of other manufacturers. It sits just to the north of Woodberry Down, a large-scale mixed-use regeneration project and is a short walk to Manor House tube station, as well as Finsbury Park and Seven Sisters.

General Project’s plans involve no change of use and are aimed at enhancing and growing the existing community and makers and creative industries. The site was acquired from a private family who have been custodians of the community for decades, and General Projects will continue with the same ethos of support and considered curation.

Hanover Green acted for General Projects and the Waterfront Studios Limited Partnership and Michael Elliot acted for the Seller.