Funding to transform Hackney tram shed into community hub


A mental health charity has received £150,000 to transform an old tram shed in Hackney’s Eastway Depot into a vibrant community mindfulness hub.

Core Arts received the funding from City Bridge Trust, the City Corporation’s charitable funder. The grant will create a space for local community and voluntary organisations to deliver workshops and courses, including gardening, cooking, digital skills and media, creative writing, painting and sports.

Core Arts promotes positive mental health and wellbeing through creative learning, providing quality community education, training, employment and social enterprise initiatives.

The new building will offer office, storage and performance space for its five partners – Hackney Playbus, Hackney Play Association, Hackney Youth, ecoActive. It will also cater for other local social enterprises, charities and community groups.

The new facility will help Core Arts reach those most in need across the borough. The charity will commission specially designed shipping container offices within the grounds of the depot, letting them out as a performance and rehearsal spaces.

Dhruv Patel, chairman of the City Bridge Trust committee, said: “This project will really bring the local community together and support Hackney’s mental health.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring complementary services together on one site, and if this model is successful, it could be replicated in another town.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to tackling disadvantage and inequality in London and will continue to support charities making London a fairer and better place to live.”

Paul Monks, director of Core Arts, added: “Our vision is for the transformation of the depot from a place of ‘storage’ into a thriving hub of social enterprise.

“The project will enable local community and voluntary organisations to work collaboratively to deliver a rich package of services that reduce poverty, raise aspirations and increase individual and community wellbeing.

“We offer a collaborative service model that begins with co-location, but ends with the delivery of truly integrated services that provide residents in Hackney’s most deprived communities with a menu of health, education, cultural, training, leisure and employment opportunities that can be accessed through the Eastway Community Hub.”