And luckily for us, it’s right on our doorstep.
Yonder opened its doors to the public in 2018 – the same year as Creative Works.
We’d recommend reading AllWork’s interview with co-founder James Harrison to find out more about how the concept for the space came about.
A lot’s changed since then of course. With this in mind, we thought it was high time we checked in with our neighbours to see how they’re getting on.
The Blackhorse Lane creative community is reaching new heights.
An exciting time for Blackhorse Lane
“Planning has been difficult recently, for obvious reasons,” says Dan, Yonder’s Workspace Manager. “But we’ve got lots of things in the pipeline – and there’s lots of potential!”
“We’re going to be looking outward over the next six months and our aim is to collaborate more with other businesses in the area,” adds Community & Communications Manager, Josh.
The Blackhorse Lane area of E17, where both Creative Works and Yonder reside, has changed a lot over the last few years.
You could also argue that it’s come full circle and returned to its creative roots.
In the mid-1990s, Blackhorse Lane was abuzz with small businesses making everything from dolls houses to bicycles. Makers workshops were dotted around the area.
However, the destruction caused by bombing during WWII drove the makers out and the area turned into an industrial zone. In time, technology rendered many of the industrial companies obsolete, and much of the area fell into disuse.
Initiatives such as the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) are breathing life back into it. Now, a new generation of makers, designers, artists and startups call it home.
Blackhorse Lane is back on the map and is becoming renowned as a thriving creative ecosystem once again. Yonder’s been involved in the CEZ project, and, as Josh says, “it’s great to see how the area has evolved.”
Gnome House, where Inky Cuttlefish Studios and Creative Works are based, was at one time a factory that made “Gnome” engines for WW1 fighter planes.
A farmers market launching soon
Yonder is launching a new outdoor farmers market at the end of May.
“It’s going to be a weekly market, but we’ll be running a much bigger version once a month. We’re planning food trucks, music and all sorts of things,” explains Josh.
“We know there’s a lot of people around here so it’s about giving them something to do and somewhere else to go. On the weekend they’ll be able to come to the farmers market and grab some food before heading over to Signature, Exhale and Truman’s.”
Yonder is working with Nourished Communities and will be stocking their seasonal fresh fruit and vegetable boxes for locals to order and collect.
According to Josh, the boxes are “well priced and packed out”, so if you’ve got an appetite for healthy eating and supporting local businesses, check them out!
The changing face of the workspace
Dan explains that while Yonder’s larger offices aren’t garnering much interest at the moment due to the pandemic, local businesses and freelancers are registering their interest in smaller self-contained workspaces.
“I’m just starting to separate some of the spaces to create some new single-person offices. Our workspace is versilitle: it’s designed in a way that makes it really easy to change things.”
Unsurprisingly, many of Yonder’s workspace members are also keen climbers. Hot-deskers are beginning to return and the workshop is currently full.
“In terms of the workshop, we appeal to makers who are commercially-focused. They don’t require supervising and they bring their own tools, as well as using what we have.”
As you walk around Yonder, you’ll also discover local artists’ work lining the walls. Thomas Moore is one such artist. Here’s his 21st Century take on William Hogarth’s ‘Gin Lane’:
The amazingly detailed work of Thomas Moore (@tommoorehanddrawn).
The original ‘Gin Lane’ (a nightmare vision of a London street, drawn in 1751).
Collaborating with local artists
Josh explains that Yonder’s current marketing strategy centres on the concept of “togetherness”, and they’re actively seeking local creatives to collaborate with.
“From local bands to visual artists – there are so many contributors in the area who’ve been starved of a live audience, as well as people who’ve picked up new skills during lockdown, or taken the opportunity to refocus on old ones.”
“We’re considering hosting film screenings in our climbing area as well as Morning Gloryville events. Our existing setup will make it pretty easy to facilitate and it’s not much different from a workout, really.”
For those not in the know, Morning Gloryville is an immersive early morning dance event. Think energising music, captivating visual performances, massage, coffee and smoothies.
(And zero alcohol and drugs!)
A safe space for everyone
Yonder is also committed to making the space inclusive and safe for everyone.
“We’ve just started a running club and we’re putting posters up in the climbing centre that focus on exercising etiquette. We’ll also have a process in place so that if anyone feels like they’re being harassed in the building, they can report it easily,” says Josh.
Yonder is open until 10pm, so if someone’s in the area and, for example, they feel like they’re being followed, they are welcome to use Yonder as a safe space.
Yonder & Creative Works – what’s the deal?
Creative Works has teamed up with Yonder to offer the following discounts throughout May:
- 25% off for a Single Entry to the climbing wall (for those who want to give it a go)
- 25% off recurring memberships with a minimum of 3 months subscription (for committed climbers and enthusiasts)
- £20 off a 10-climb pack (for those who are keen but don’t want to commit)
* Off-peak times only, Monday-Friday, with admission between 9am to 4pm.
** If you want to climb outside of off-peak hours there’s a £4 charge on top.
- 20% of yoga sessions
- 10% off in Yonder’s on-site cafe
If you’re a Creative Works member, you can claim your discount when you book in-person or over the phone. Even if you’re not a CW member, we’d recommend giving climbing at Yonder a go!
It’s a safe environment and social distancing guidelines are in place.