Waltham Forest Creative Enterprise Zone

4 November 2021

On 29 July 2021 Waltham Forest was awarded accreditation as a Creative Enterprise Zone.

What is a CEZ? Click to get info

Creative Enterprise Zones are a Mayoral initiative to designate areas of London where artists and creative businesses can find permanent affordable space to work, are supported to start up and grow, and where local people are helped to learn creative sector skills and access pathways into employment.

Where is it going to be? Click to get info

The Black Horse Lane area has been chosen as Waltham Forest’s CEZ. Black Horse Lane includes Highams Hill Ward and part of the William Morris Ward. It sits within the Lea Valley Corridor and is adjacent to the Wetlands. The area was chosen due to its strong making and creating heritage, the quality of existing businesses in the area and the huge potential it has for growth.

Why are we doing it? Click to get info

The Development of Black Horse lane has been part of the councils Economic Strategy since 2016 and set out to ‘develop the area as a new town centre by improving its social and cultural offering and to develop a new creative destination.’ Blackhorse Lane has a rich heritage of making and creating that has fuelled past economic growth and in recent years the industrial space has become home to a broader variety of makers and creators welcoming a new breed of business fuelled by the digital industries along with a resurgence of traditional manufacturers and producers. The CEZ program was an opportunity to highlight the skills and services available in the borough, support business growth and create jobs, and sustain the creative diversity in the area. 

What's happening next? Click to get info

The long-term strategy is for the CEZ to be governed and run largely by the businesses, residents, partners, and community groups that reside within its borders. To enable this Waltham Forest Council will soon begin a community and business engagement program which will inform the public of the delivery strategy. A product of this engagement will be the development of a working group that will guide the delivery of a placemaking project. Placemaking is a word used to describe the development of an area’s identity and values. With much of the Black Horse Lane CEZ being in industrial estates and off the main street, improving the visibility and accessibility of the areas was one of the first things identified as a need for the CEZ.

Find out more about Creative Enterprise Zones

Google earth image of part of the Black Horse Lane area within the Creative Enterprise Zone


A map showing the designated borders of the Black Horse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone


A local Creative Enterprise Zone workspace


A local maker in Blackhorse Workshops