Last updated: 25 March 2024

Next review: 5 December 2024

Blackhorse Lane regeneration

The gateway to the Blackhorse Road Creative Enterprise Zone

Blackhorse Lane is in the western boundary of Waltham Forest and forms one of the borough’s key growth areas. In 2021 the area was also designated as one of London’s Creative Enterprise Zones due to the high volume of creative businesses in the area and its industrial heritage. It is also designated as a Housing Zone by the Greater London Authority. 

The Blackhorse Lane Area Action Plan (AAP), adopted in January 2015, and recognises the area as a major housing and job growth site for Greater London, with capacity to accommodate 2,500 new homes and 1,000 new jobs by 2026. The Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan. When adopted, the Local Plan will replace the Blackhorse Lane AAP. This is supported by a number of key social and physical infrastructure projects, such as the new Willowfield College, Walthamstow Wetlands, Cheney Row Park, the Standard Junction improvement works, new cycle and pedestrian links and projects aimed at supporting the local economy.  

The AAP acts as a framework to coordinate the area’s transformation in a social, economically and environmentally sustainable way. The council aims to ensure the existing community is involved and has the opportunity to influence the changing character of the area.  

The area’s manufacturing heart has given rise to the creative industry and the areas has seen a growth in makers, artists and small-scale manufacturers due to the relatively low-cost workspaces. It is also home to many breweries and has been labelled ‘The Blackhorse Beer Mile’. 

Back in March 2022, the Blackhorse Strategic Industrial Location (SIL) Framework was completed by Waltham Forest Council in collaboration with the Greater London Authority (GLA), landowners, and businesses with the masterplan formally signed off by the GLA in June 2022 and will provide much-needed space for local businesses and new housing alongside new retail and leisure spaces.

In February 2023, Blackhorse Lane was accredited as a Creative Enterprise Zone, a pioneering initiative by the Mayor of London. The Creative Enterprise Zones are one of the Mayor of London’s flagship cultural programmes, dedicated to ensuring artists and creatives are supported to put down roots in local areas and giving them opportunities to grow their careers and businesses.

Blackhorse Collective, run by Waltham Forest Council and in partnership with local creatives will encourage creative growth in three main ways:

  • using Council powers to keep workspaces affordable for artists and creative businesses
  • giving expert business support to creative start-ups, including a platform for collaboration
  • connect creative businesses to the local workforce through apprenticeship schemes, pathways to work and public skills sessions

Blackhorse Collective is one of nine Creative Enterprise Zones set up across the capital.

On Tuesday 5 December 2023, further plans were approved for Uplands Business Park to create an industrial-led mixed-use redevelopment. The two-phased programme will bring 1,800 new high-quality homes, over 1,000 jobs to the area and significantly increase industrial floorspace to 29,000 sqm. This will not only provide more affordable industrial workspace but will also help the thriving businesses already in residence at the Blackhorse Creative Enterprise Zone.