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Reflecting on a Year at Sunbury Workshops with Resident Curation Manager Will Elliot

As we look back on the past year since acquiring Sunbury Workshops, it's remarkable to see how this historic space has evolved into a vibrant hub for creativity and innovation. Speaking to Will Elliot, our Resident Curation Manager, he gave us insight into the community that Eat Work Art has built there since acquiring the space.

Originally built in the 1900s as workshops for local residents, Sunbury Workshops has long been a bastion of creativity within the Boundary Estate community, fostering traditional crafts like letterpress and shoemaking. Today, it continues this legacy as a home to leaders in graphic design, fashion, and eCommerce.

Retaining the creative essence of a building is a main tenet of the Eat Work Art development ethos — from taking over an abandoned print works at Hackney Downs to nurturing the longstanding Sunbury community. Situated in Zone 1, its location is not just convenient; it's inspirational in a time where so many creatives are pushed out to London's peripheries.

From the outset, the response from creatives eager to join the community was overwhelming. "The location is amazing," as Will Elliot, Resident Curation Manager, pointed out. "From a Resident Curation perspective, we were lucky enough to have a waitlist of residents. We had some amazing creatives approach us because of its location, its beauty."

"The workspaces are perfect — from their various sizes to the finish of each of them. The studio size works for both larger, more established creative teams as well as individual practitioners."

One of the most rewarding aspects of this journey has been the opportunity to foster relationships with both new and existing residents. "Not only did we bring in new creatives to the community, but a lot of previous residents stayed," notes Elliot. "For our team, this represented a tangible opportunity to build our relationship with them, and curate the new community in harmony with these prior residents."

Among the many highlights of the past year are the stories of our residents. "Some highlights from the resident side include ISHKAR, one of the first residents to move in. As an expanding business, we’ve been thrilled to play a part in their growth by providing a high-quality studio for the growing team."

"Our residents who actively pull people into the space, such as hair stylists Salon Ichini and Studio Studios or exhibition space The Second Act, are a brilliant addition," Elliot remarked. "A huge part of Eat Work Art’s ethos is providing multi-use creative space with amenities in both F+B as well as lifestyle, so having these services on site is an amazing activation of the space."

"Each resident does something very different but they’re all such great examples of who an EWA resident is — innovative, collaborative, and bringing a unique perspective or facet to their respective field," Elliot concludes.

Looking ahead, we're excited to see Sunbury Workshops continue to flourish as a beacon of creativity in London. As we celebrate year one of Sunbury, we remain committed to our mission of providing multi-use creative spaces that inspire and empower the next generation of innovators. Here's to many more years of creativity, collaboration, and community at Sunbury Workshops.

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