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Left: Night czar Amy Lamé on a visit to God’s Own Junkyard.

+ [Waltham Forest]’s night-time economy and culture will continue to go from strength to strength + 22

“One of our productions comes on at 7pm and finishes at 9.30pm or 10 o’clock.

Night-time economy

“That then means people are excited and want to talk about what they have seen, and then they move onto the new restaurant and the new bar, which is open later.” Or as Ben Shelbourne, who runs Sodo Pizza just down the road from the theatre, puts it: “Next door to me I’ve got a cocktail bar, next door to them they’ve got a Caribbean place on the corner, next door to them they have a cinema, next to that they have a Nando’s. The steady stream of small restaurants and cocktail bars lend themselves very well to each other.” “It’s not necessarily competition, they are our collective customers,” explains James Chitty, general manager of the Red Lion pub in Leytonstone, describing how small businesses have co-operated to develop restaurants and pubs in the area. New businesses “get plugged in quite quickly,” agrees Joanna Sealy, founder of the Waltham Forest Business Network, who advises local companies on marketing and scaling-up. “We are quite connected.”

Leyton’s nightlife has also received a boost with new pubs and bars such as Leyton Technical in the old Leyton Town Hall building. Hawking-Sach is interested in the development of the Lea Bridge Road area too, which will host a new station and more homes in the near future. The area is “quite an important node for east London,” he says. “You’ve got Clapton on one side and up to the Baker’s Arms on the other; you’ve got the reservoir and marshes there, you’ve got the Olympic Park to the south. So there is lots of potential, in terms of making sure it is better served and has better facilities.” The number of businesses in the borough grew by 12% in 2016, according to the council’s latest figures, bringing the total number to 11,000. And with proposals for more homes, a night-time economy is needed to meet the demands of new residents. In the meantime, Lamé looks forward to visiting Waltham Forest again soon, confident that “its night-time economy will continue to go from strength-to-strength”. When she does call by, she will no doubt find the night-life is buzzing.

Profile for 3Fox International Ltd

Invest Waltham Forest 4  

This fourth edition of Invest Waltham Forest looks at how the borough is prioritising culture-led regeneration and good quality design.

Invest Waltham Forest 4  

This fourth edition of Invest Waltham Forest looks at how the borough is prioritising culture-led regeneration and good quality design.