Last updated: 25 March 2024

Next review: 4 September 2024

A drone image of Walthamstow market

Walthamstow is the largest town centre and at the heart of the borough, both geographically and economically, it boasts a diverse community, excellent public transport links to central London and provides homes, employment, retail, services and leisure opportunities. It is the borough's main commercial centre, driving the economy and attracting visitors, and has been identified as a key growth area for the borough. 

Walthamstow has over 500 existing shops, including in 17&Central shopping centre, along the High Street, Hoe Street and St James Street. The High Street is also home to one of the country’s longest street markets, with over 350 pitches, stretching from the Town Square to St James Street and serving the diverse community that lives in or visits Walthamstow.  

Walthamstow has seen some exciting changes over the last few years. 

Key sites developed include council scheme The Scene, a complex with a three-screen cinema, restaurants and new homes, Central Parade with Today Bread café, on-site bakery and business incubator units, Crate St James creative enterprise hub on a former car park site, and purchase and refurbishment of the former EMD Granada Cinema, which is currently under construction and due to re-open as Soho Theatre Walthamstow, a 950-seater comedy, theatre and music venue and cultural hub managed by Soho Theatre.  

In addition, in 2016/17 the council invested in improving public spaces and shop fronts at both ends of the High Street and along Hoe Street, including the St James Street conservation area with Heritage Lottery Funding support to improve 50 shopfronts and streetscape improvements.   

In January 2023, Waltham Forest was awarded £17.2m of Levelling Up funding to deliver improvements in Hoe Street, along the High Street and in St James Quarter to give a boost to what is becoming a thriving cultural quarter. 

Investment in heritage assets in Walthamstow includes the refurbishment of key council-owned buildings including Central Parade, Hatherley Mews, Chestnuts House and Vestry House Museum to improve their accessibility and inclusivity. 

Have your say on the Let's Talk Walthamstow website

Visit the Let's Talk Walthamstow website

Walthamstow Night-time Enterprise Zone (NTEZ)

In December 2019, Walthamstow Night-time Enterprise Zone (NTEZ) Walthamstow NTEZ was launched with support from the GLA, with a series of exciting free events taking place along the High Street.  An exciting partnership between with local artists and businesses who hosted activities in their premises during the evening and into the night was curated by Artillery, Walthamstow-based arts development organisation. 

The success of the High Street ADVENTures event was built on with a fantastic second event in December 2021 and launch of the Walthamstow Nighttime Enterprise Zone business toolkit which supports businesses with the practicalities of opening later into the evening.