Big impact, new ideas – how Council funding helped Hackney Central business to grow

Over 100 new and retained jobs, 5.6 tonnes a month in carbon savings and almost £1.2 million of new investment were among the achievements of a Hackney Council grant fund supporting business resilience, innovation and sustainability in Hackney Central.

The Hackney Central Impact and Ideas Fund, developed alongside the Council’s partners PRD, saw 23 Hackney Central businesses and social enterprises share £600,000 in Council investment to develop creative new ideas and approaches to support and grow their businesses.

Two thirds of the businesses said the funding helped increase footfall or turnover and 96% said the funding would support them to grow in future, while the funding saw spending at 97 local businesses and instigated £1.2 million in extra grant funding.

Read the Hackney Central Impact and Ideas Fund celebration and learning report

Lardo restaurant

London Fields restaurant Lardo installed a new, more sustainable pizza oven, saving over two tonnes of carbon per month and reducing their energy bills:

“It is amazing to work with a wood-fired oven, the results are fantastic and our pizzas have never looked better.” 
Lucas, senior sous chef at Lardo

Arcane Emporium

The team behind Bohemia Place Market used funding to run the successful three-day Hackney Reggae Festival last summer

“We still feel the impact of Covid restrictions, but events like The Hackney Reggae Festival have enabled us to keep the business going. We have been able to secure other funding since the grant and we believe that our application for that funding benefited from receiving this grant from Hackney.”
Ben Ryan, Bohemia Place Market

Pages of Hackney bookshop

The bookshop Pages of Hackney, on Lower Clapton Road, put on 28 literacy events for local schools and community groups:

“This grant has helped us recover from Covid-19 restrictions by getting us back out into the community, which itself has become stronger through the pandemic. As people spend more time and money in their local communities after the lockdowns, and with increased working from home, support for local businesses has grown.”
Eleanor from Pages of Hackney,

Batch.Works manufacturing startup

Startup ‘Batch.Works’ used a grant to develop a model for remanufacturing waste plastic locally, repurposing over one kg of oat milk containers a week using 3D-printing technology:

“This grant has had a huge impact in helping us grow. We are currently going from strength to strength. We have increased revenue, secured over £600,000 of grant funding, secured over £500,000 investment and our team has grown from four to 15 all in the time since this project began. This grant has played a part in every area of this success.” Milo from Batch.Works

ROAR design studio

All-female design studio ROAR Studio purchased new machinery to turn waste into a new product line, diverting nearly 200 kilograms of waste from landfill.

“Making your business greener and more efficient brings financial benefits, especially in times when prices of materials rise uncontrollably.”
Jana from ROAR Studio

Hackney Church Brew Co. brewery

Brewery Hackney Church Brew Co. used funding to can and sell its own beers off-site for the first time, helping to increase their visibility and receive the UK’s Best Independent Craft Brewery Taproom award by the Society of Independent Brewers Business awards..

“The impact that the machine has had on our business is profound. It will allow us to continue to operate in Hackney. For the first time ever, our beers are available outside of the borough and hopefully that growth will continue.”
Hamish from Hackney Church Brew Co.

The Hackney Central Impact and Ideas Fund is part of a £2.5 million post-covid business support programme funded via the Government’s covid support package, and is helping deliver on the ambitions of the new Hackney Central Town Centre strategy – a 10 year plan to create a fairer, safer, more sustainable town centre developed alongside the local community