In August we visited Vittoria Wharf in Hackney Wick, the warehouse at the centre of the dispute between artists and the London Legacy Development Corporation, who plan to build a bridge on the site. Despite support from local MPs and a 5,000+ signature petition the remaining tenants have until midnight tonight to leave their studios. This morning we spoke to artists as they shifted the last of their belongings and security moved in with their steel doors.
Juliet Can is director at Stour Space, a multi-functional creative venue next door to Vittoria Wharf, which is also listed as an asset of community value. 'It's really sad for us because we're losing our neighbours this morning,' she told us. 'We're losing people that we've worked with for over ten years, creative people who add so much to the local area and give that vibrancy to east London.'
An LLDC spokesperson said the bridge will connect Hackney Wick to new schools, healthcare facilities, universities and cultural facilities planned for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: 'We’ve been working closely with all the tenants since we gave them notice on July 5. We’ve been on site today to ensure that those who still remain understand the process for returning their units. Fifteen units were originally affected and the majority of tenants have now returned their keys.'
The campaign to save Hackney's artistic spaces continues. Keep an eye on savehackneywick.org for more updates.