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barriers. It can enrich lives, encourage greater connections across society and liberate enterprise.

Right: Richard Upton, deputy chief executive at developer U+I. Below: its involvement with Blackhorse Workshop is supporting the borough’s producers with access to free space.

provide it? How might we cultivate something that is already in the soil? Taking time to explore and understand a place’s history and community can provide inspiration for the future potential and help us harness the special and unique qualities of a particular area. Development that takes this into account tends to be more productive as it is unlocking the potential that is already there, enhancing connections between past, present and future.

36 Interviews

It takes as much effort, sweat and tears to develop badly as to develop well and the results can hang around for decades. Developers must be more imaginative and intelligent in the way we address some of the challenges of our age in creating places where we live, work and play. If we don’t we lose our licence to operate and the trust of our communities. What are the pros and cons of regeneration and how is U+I challenging perceptions that developers prioritise profit margins over the needs of communities? To put it simply, bad development raises barriers between people. Good development demolishes those

At U+I we recognise that we cannot develop in isolation. Our priority is to connect with people and businesses whose lives we affect, because what we do tends to last. We actively look to involve local people and communities in creating places and spaces. It’s not easy and we don’t always get it right but this quest to connect and involve is an essential part of U+I. When development is done properly, it can be a real force for positive change, delivering social and economic benefit at community level. How will the work the company is doing in Waltham Forest, such as with Blackhorse Workshop, inspire the positive change it is aiming for? U+I is working with Blackhorse Workshop to celebrate maker culture in the Blackhorse Road area. Our partnership highlights our understanding of the importance of creative industries to local people and allowed us to open up a site to the local community at a time when it could be standing derelict. From July to December 2017, Sideshow brought life to the Equipment Works site and provided a temporary home for local makers, who have been given free space to showcase their work. In the long term, there will be beautifully designed commercial workshops, as part of the comprehensive regeneration plans. Elements of Sideshow and Equipment Work architecture acknowledge the site’s history and heritage, as the original home of the Associated Equipment Company Factory, whose prototypes inspired the design of London’s iconic Routemaster bus.

Editor’s note: this interview was conducted before U+I agreed to sell Equipment Works to Telford Homes in December 2017 (see page 8).

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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.