East End’s new talent base

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East London Dance and UD (formerly United Development), the black music organisation, have revealed their new home in the form of Talent House, a former print house on Sugar House Island, Stratford East.

Costing £4.1m, for the last £350,000 of which the two organisations are still fundraising, Talent House is aimed at inclusivity and opportunity for young performers of all standards. It will have three floors containing two dance studios, five music studios, a live room, two vocal booths, a large flexible space for events and rehearsals, and a tech lab for education and training. There will also be a canteen and co-working space with a central atrium for the main reception.

Designed by Waugh Thistleton with Katy Marks from Citizens Design Bureau creating the internal design, Talent House opens this autumn aiming to welcome at least 12,000 people a year. Sugar House Island is a mixed-use development curated to be in line with Stratford’s regeneration.

The project has been made possible by the support of Arts Council England; Greater London Authority; London Legacy Development Corporation; London Borough of Newham; Vastint UK; Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, funded by Westfield Stratford City and delivered by Foundation for Future London; London Marathon Charitable Trust; The Linbury Trust; Foyle Foundation; Cockayne – Grants for the Arts & London Community Foundation; and Arts & Culture Impact Fund.

 “East London Dance has been championing and growing east London’s dance scene for over three decades and we’re thrilled to call this incredible new building home and be able to welcome in our local communities” said Polly Risbridger, East London Dance’s CEO. “We see a world where creative talent is always met with opportunity, no matter where you come from, and post-pandemic this space will be essential to help the creative community to reconnect, recover and renew their creative endeavours.

“The Talent House is a building for the young people and artists of east London and their voices will be at the heart of all of our decision making.”

And UD’s director Pamela McCormick added: “At UD, we understand that young people need the resources and space to create and explore their potential. The Talent House provides just that while UD continues to empower those trying to make it in the music industry to realise they already belong, while equipping those who are breaking through into notoriously competitive creative environments with the tools they need”.

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