Stratford dance and music hub gets £700k boost

CGI of Sugar House Island. Picture: High Level Photography

The Talent House for Urban Culture would see studios, rehearsal space and offices built at an extended warehouse near the site of the Sugar House Island development in Stratford. - Credit: High Level Photography

A planned dance and music hub is to receive a £700,000 boost.

The Talent House for Urban Culture would see studios, rehearsal space and offices built at an extended warehouse in Sugar House Lane, Stratford.

The centre would become home to East London Dance and charity Urban Development, which moved out of Sugar House Lane to make way for a housing development. It is currently based in Kings Cross.

During a meeting on Tuesday, January 19 councillors voted to allow the money to be spent on the project.

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said it will make an important contribution to London's cultural and artistic sector.

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"One reason I'm particularly excited is that this is another realisation of our ambition for young people to provide an eclectic range of opportunities that lead to credible jobs in the creative and cultural sector which is one of the fastest growth sectors in London's economy," she added.

The Talent House for Urban Culture is hailed in council papers for offering "a space to unlock the potential of musicians, songwriters, composers, dancers, choreographers and producers".

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It is intended to act as a hub helping youngsters progress into further education, employment and enterprise. It is forecast that 12,000 people a year will pass through its doors.

The mayor welcomed its addition to Stratford which she said will become London's most exciting destination for arts, culture and music.

The council is also turning the former home of Stratford Circus into its flagship youth hub.

"The Talent House will make a really exciting contribution to what our young people can access in the borough," the mayor said.

Cllr Sarah Ruiz asked whether the council would be able to find another partner for the scheme should one drop out.

But the meeting heard the funding can be clawed back and an alternative sought.

The £700,000 is section 106 money from a scheme for 1,200 homes at Sugar House Island which real estate company Vastint is behind.

The London Legacy Development Corporation was responsible for granting planning permission.

The money is part of a £2.4million pot meant directed at education projects on the site.

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