Are London’s Printworks under threat of closure? Property developers want to stick offices on the site – and refuse to say the club will remain open afterwards

Who in the right mind would want to set up a nightclub in London these days? The authorities give the distinct impression of not wanting you there. The London mayor only takes an interest when there’s votes from young people to be had. And you have Amy Lamé, the Night Czar who is as much of a lame duck as her name implies.

And once you’ve got your venue, you have no end of unscrupulous types who could bring the whole thing crashing down. Including property developers who seem to want to buy the whole of central London and turn it into one enormous office – the increase in the number of people working from home is obviously not something they’ve yet noticed.

Which is why I always found the arrangements of Printworks to be very odd. The land is owned by British Land and they gave events company Broadwick Live permission to run a nightclub there. How long did this permission last? And what happened if a dispute occurred between the two?

Whilst I’m confident solicitors would have resolved these questions beforehand, there was always the possibility British Land might want to do something else with the site. And it turns out they do, as part of the Canada Water Masterplan.

But what will happen to the Printworks if this goes ahead? Their own words on the question are…

“We have explored a range of future uses for The Printworks and as part of this have taken forward a workspace-led design, for which we’re preparing a Reserved Matters Application. Nonetheless we believe that culture will play an important role as part of a new urban centre at Canada Water, and remain in discussions with Broadwick Live as a key collaborator and tenant, following their success in the Printworks over the last five years.”

Nowhere do words to the effect of “Printworks will remain open after the development” appear. Hardly reassuring…


Credit for this story goes to the Architects Journal.