The home-working revolution has been welcomed by lots of people, but there are many reasons why you might want to keep some distance between home and work. If you’re interested in finding the perfect workspace in the borough to boost your productivity, read on…

Waltham Forest has been a bustling industrial hub since 1894 when the arrival of Blackhorse station marked the beginning of a transition from a gentrified London suburb into an industrial enclave that has spread from Blackhorse Road throughout the Waltham Forest borough. Blackhorse Lane’s industrial hub helped foster a business-driven culture within the borough, which today is home to over 12,000 businesses.

With over 94% of these businesses being micro-businesses (less than 10 employees) there is a growing demand for a wide range of workspaces in the borough.

The borough has over 30 work and desk space providers catering for various business needs. So, whether you are looking for designated office space for your small business, a fully equipped workshop or simply a desk share, the borough has it all.

We have compiled a handy overview of the different kinds of working spaces available in the borough below (for a full listing of what is available, visit the Business Support pages).

Co-working space

Co-working spaces can be perfect for those who value social interaction, and with over 3,000 freelancers in the borough, are a great place to network with other freelancers and businesses. It’s ideal for those who thrive off flexibility and community, with some great spaces available including:

Yonder – a multidisciplinary space comprising a climbing centre, gym, yoga studio, workspace and workshops, with a cafe/bar.

Creative Works – a co-working space for local freelancers and SMEs, with offices, meeting rooms and an events programme with ambitious young people from the local area.

There are also plenty of free-to-use co-working spaces in seven local libraries and a dedicated business centre in the BIPC (Leytonstone Library) that offers free upskilling business courses and business networking opportunities.


We are very fortunate to have some great retail spaces in the borough for a wide range of businesses. Ideal for the community of creatives, retailers and service businesses in the borough. From established shop spaces to temporary incubator spaces for retail start-ups, the list includes:

CRATE St James Street – An exciting business community, with a wide range of creative retail offerings, from stand-out food to unique craft boutiques, situated right next to St James Street station.

Central Parade – Created in partnership with the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Central Parade has become a home to over 20 businesses of varying scales and uses. With fantastic incubator retail opportunities for startups, it’s the perfect home for a retail business.

The Arts / Fashion and Music

Waltham Forest has long been synonymous with the textile industry, with William Morris’ designs used the world over, and this association with the borough is still thriving today. Waltham Forest is a hub of fashion craftsmanship; with businesses such as Blackhorse Lane Ateliers – London’s only craft jean maker, it’s no surprise that there is high demand for fashion business spaces.

ARBEIT, Leyton Green –  Launched in partnership with the Fashion District, the London College of Fashion and Waltham Forest Council, ARBEIT is home to 13 flexible studio spaces, ideal for fashion and textile designers, each with stand-out retail space, to help nurture the next William Morris!

Switchboard Studios – a hive of activity, full of weavers, fine artists, record labels and digital creatives such as audio designers, graphics studios and videographers. With 26 studios, run by Waltham Forest Council, it’s aim is to offer affordable working spaces for creatives within the borough.


With a long history steeped in manufacturing and making, it should come as no surprise that there is a great selection of fully equipped workshops in the borough – available as homes for craftspeople, permanently or for an hour. Examples of workshop spaces in the borough include:

Ceramics – a shared professional studio space created to promote ceramics talent within London. Accommodating 25 makers at a time, the studio is designed for a mix of users: makers launching a professional career and wanting to learn studio skills in a safe environment before striking out on their own, professional artists who want an affordable long-term workplace, and advanced hobbyists who want to fire and glaze independently. Whatever your reason for joining, Turning Earth Ceramics aims to enable you to develop your skills.

Blackhorse Workshop – a social enterprise dedicated to making, offering easy access to a fully equipped wood and metal workshop that’s open to all. With a mission to inspire a new generation of makers and creative businesses by building a workshop that’s brimming with opportunities. Here you can make anything from beginner’s kits to sculpture or furniture – and you can grow your creative business with affordable studio space, the support of industry expertise and a community of makers.

Concluding our journey through Waltham Forest's vibrant workspaces, we hope this exploration has enlightened and inspired you. Dive deeper into the realm of possibilities by exploring the comprehensive workspace listings on the Waltham Forest directory—featuring providers vetted by the council. From premium offerings to the inclusive spaces within the library's network, your ideal workspace awaits discovery. Let this piece be the catalyst for your exploration—uncover the full spectrum of workspaces, each promising a unique chapter in your professional story.

Written by

Matt Broughton

Matt Broughton is the Workspace Manager for Switchboard Studios and in his wider role at Waltham Forest council, he is busy developing an Affordable Workspace Strategy for the whole borough.


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