Since the London Olympics in 2012, Stratford has been going through a rapid cultural transformation, accelerated by the co-location of anchor institutions like the V&A, Sadler’s Wells, and BBC Music Studios. Since Hadley’s new site, IQL North, is located within this area, partnering with Property X-Change seemed like the perfect opportunity to discuss the role that arts and culture could play in the recovery of our high streets.
From large institutional museums to small independent galleries, and from national music venues to intimate recording studios, our high streets have always been the home and source of different expressions of arts, culture, and creativity. However, as noted by Property X-Change’s key speakers, creative uses of valuable property do not always come easy: small organisations might struggle to secure affordable space, and large organisations have to carefully balance their influence on neighbourhoods between community building and gentrification.
"Spaces that aren't completed can sometimes invite users you would never have anticipated"
Property X-Change, an online resource and network for those with an interest in creating thriving high-street property, forms part of the London Recovery Programme, led by the Mayor of London and London Councils through the High Streets for All mission. Two of Hadley's communications team, Lisa Jones and Matt Griffiths-Rimmer, also sit on the board of contributors for Property X-Change.
The event with Property X-Change provided an opportunity to bring together speakers from the Design Museum, Design Council, and UD Music to talk about these challenges within the context of high street property, as well as to hear from diverse voices with first-hand experience of the subject.
Hadley looks forward to continuing to work closely with the network in future on other exciting events.