Hawkins\Brown submits plans to keep Printworks venue at Canada Water

The popular music venue, which operated inside the former Daily Mail print works at Harmsworth Quay from 2017 until May last year, had initially been expected to be repurposed as offices.

But shortly before it closed the Canada Water development team hinted at the possibility of retaining the club as part of a new ‘cultural’ offering within the structure.

A reserved matters application submitted this month proposes retaining its two main spaces – the Press Halls and Inkwells – for live music and other related uses.

Updated plans also include a rooftop venue with views of central London above the Press Halls with corporate spaces offering views into the space inside the building.

In 2021, Canada Water’s developer British Land unveiled designs to transform what was once the largest printing press in western Europe into 14,800m2 of Grade A workspace across seven floors with the press halls retained as an atrium.

This scheme did not include retaining the live entertainment venue which has had more than 2.5 million visitors over its six-year run.

The interim use of the building as a nightclub meant it was not protected as a cultural building when Southwark Council approved plans for the site in July 2022.

But the development team, which also includes pension giant Australian Super, unveiled proposals to retain the venue in April last year. Other new details unveiled last year include the naming of the redeveloped print works as The Grand Press

The latest scheme also includes more than 929m2 of external terraces on floors three to six with panoramic views across London, and a new park, which is a part of the wider Canada Water masterplan drawn up by Allies and Morrison.

Emma Cariaga, joint head of Canada Water at British Land, said: ‘We want to deliver a permanent world-class cultural venue at Printworks that builds on its globally acclaimed legacy. Combining the best of the capital’s culture with next-generation workspace at The Grand Press will create an unrivalled experiential destination, which generations will benefit from for years to come.

‘Printworks had a tremendous impact on the UK’s cultural landscape, and its popularity over the past six years has demonstrated how important this multi-dimensional venue is to Londoners and visitors from all over the world who were drawn to its cutting-edge programming.

‘We’re extremely proud to be the stewards of this important cultural destination, and we look forward to progressing our plans to deliver the new Printworks as part of our wider Canada Water masterplan.’

The Grand Press is phase two of the wider Canada Water scheme. The first phase, which is already under construction, features developments at Three Deal Porters and The Dock Shed on Deal Porters Way by Allies and Morrison, and lab space at the Paper Yard’s life sciences quarter also by Hawkins\Brown. Asif Khan, meanwhile, has designed a boardwalk along Canada Dock. 

The Grand Press is scheduled for completion in 2026.

Aerial view of the current printworks site:


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