Development and regeneration in Barking and Dagenham

The boat that rocked

By James Renoux-Wood - Thu 18 September 2014, 11:45 am

The developer Rooff is set to launch The Boathouse at the River Roding in Barking next month, offering open studio space to creative businesses.

The Boathouse

It is due to open on 2 October, and is an extension of The Ice House Quarter development, which opened in the summer, offering flexible studios for short and long term hire, as well as rehearsal spaces and a small-scale performance venue.

The Boathouse and The Ice House Quarter form part of the creative quarter, which is home to historic buildings such as Barking Abbey, Abbey Green, Town Quay and the Granary and Malthouse Buildings. 

The Boathouse will run as a social enterprise for artists and businesses to work on creative projects and to have access to exhibition space on the river.

Its facilities will also be available for hire on a commercial basis to companies, local authorities and theatre companies. 

Rooff is working closely with the Arts Council England funded community team, Creative Barking and Dagenham, to encourage arts participation in a borough that has been identified as an area for arts development. 

Steve Drury, development director at Rooff, leads the project, and said: “The setting up of the new Boathouse is a key strategic move on behalf of Rooff to further deliver the original vision and ambition of expanding the creative industries and cultural activities at the Ice House Quarter in Barking. 

“This is a culmination of Rooff`s long term vision for the development of the creative and cultural quarter, which began back in 2005 with a gentle stroll down Abbey Road revealing the derelict and empty historic Granary and Malthouse buildings.

“These forgotten and run down buildings offered an amazing opportunity for creative regeneration and that first walk along Abbey Road led to a long journey, via much collaboration with the local authority and other regional development partners."

The artistic director for The Boathouse, and 2015 Folk Festival Champion, Carole Pluckrose, said: “I am delighted to be working with Steve Drury to lead on the establishment of The Boathouse as a new and exciting arts destination at the heart of the Ice House Quarter, Barking.

“Our vision is to create a "place to be by the riverside" to encourage the flourishing of the arts and to respond to the ever strengthening pulse of our dynamic and culturally rich community."

Find out more about the The Boathouse here.

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