Rotherhithe: Dance music venue, shops and offices plan for landmark Printworks building

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Printworks at Canada Water in Rotherhithe closed in the spring of 2023, but plans have been published for a reopening.

An electronic music venue which closed its doors last year could reopen as a mixed-use space with shops and offices.

Until last spring, Printworks had run for six years at the former Daily Mail printing plant in Rotherhithe.

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Under new proposals, half of the building will become office and retail space - The Grand Press - while from 2026 the Press Halls venue could return for music events and immersive exhibitions. In addition, the plans include a rooftop venue, a smaller exhibition and performance space, and hospitality suites overlooking the main auditorium.

Plans have been submitted for the facility, part of the wider Canada Water development, by property company British Land and pension fund AustralianSuper.

The companies are in talks with Broadwick, which ran Printworks, to operate the venue. Since last year's closure, Broadwick launched the biggest nightclub in the UK, Drumsheds in Tottenham.

Simeon Aldred, co-owner and director of strategy at Broadwick Live, said: “Broadwick Group is delighted to continue our exclusive partnership with British Land and AustralianSuper for the highly anticipated next phase of Printworks London.

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"The preservation and repurposing of the cherished Press Halls, coupled with the profound cultural implications of this undertaking, represent our joint commitment to the advancement of culture in the capital.

“We eagerly anticipate engaging with our community and wider audiences on this groundbreaking cultural investment of global significance. Their ongoing support is paramount to the revival of Printworks London for both local, national and international audiences to enjoy."

The Printworks building in Rotherhithe.The Printworks building in Rotherhithe.
The Printworks building in Rotherhithe. | Hawkins\Brown

Since opening in 2017, Printworks hosted more than 2.5 million visitors, 300 music concerts and 200 film shoots.

Architects at Hawkins\Brown have created the new designs for the building which was once home to the largest printing factory in western Europe, Harmsworth Quays.

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Proposals for The Grand Press at the Printworks building.Proposals for The Grand Press at the Printworks building.
Proposals for The Grand Press at the Printworks building. | Hawkins\Brown

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.”

AustralianSuper’s head of Real Assets for Europe, Paul Clark, said: “Printworks will be a cultural centre piece to a major placemaking project that reflects both the long-term nature of AustralianSuper's capital and our ongoing commitment to London and the UK.

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“We believe this strategic project will provide long-term benefits to AustralianSuper members, as well as enhancing the cultural offering at Canada Water and contributing positively to the local community.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's night czar, Amy Lamé, said: “Printworks was a fantastic addition to London’s world-renowned cultural scene, attracting people from all around the globe and setting new and ambitious standards for all to follow. I’ve worked closely with the operator and owner, and I’m thrilled by these inspiring new plans to create an incredible permanent venue. This will be an exciting new chapter as we build a better London for everyone.”

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