Success in helping local businesses expand!

C56GCDUWUAE0LZcIn spite of its sleepy residential profile, Wapping actually hosts a growing number of exciting creative businesses from Studio Spaces on Pennington Street to The Dock tech start-up hub in Tobacco Dock and Gensler, the big US architecture firm about to move into Thomas More Square this summer.

But perhaps the best known is Cherryduck Studios, formerly Tower Bridge Studios, which shot to local fame after making the fantastic #Wappingisopen YouTube video over the summer. Cherryduck is run by local Wapping couple, James and Michelle, who built their business up from nothing after combining James’ skills as a photographer for the Mirror and Michelle’s talents as an actress, interviewer and online video maker for the Sun. They now employ over twenty staff and have a fantastic premises on Samson Street with studios, production equipment and an IT suite.

Keen to expand their business, James and Michelle purchased a neighbouring property in Hermitage Court which had been squatted for well over a decade. Their idea was to turn this former commercial property (converted to sub-standard residential accommodation in the 90s) into a small creative hub for artists, freelancers and techies. However the council declined their application as ‘against borough policy’ because it would result in the loss of residential accommodation. This in spite of its original commercial use and the fact that any person who visited the property could see that it would fail all the normal tests on habitability. StudioHire.com ChD003

James and Michelle got in touch to ask for my help and after visiting the business, I was able to put together representations outlining why I thought the council’s decision was wrong. I am delighted to say that the council has now seen sense, and James and Michelle will be expanding Cherryduck! I am so pleased that this thriving Wapping business can now stay in the area and provide even more opportunities to local creative people.

Congratulations, both – perhaps you could make another fun local video to celebrate…!

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