New hub launched to connect residents with local businesses


Connecting local people to opportunities in the borough’s growing business community is the aim of an innovative new space called the Hackney Opportunity Hub.

Launched this month, the Hub is located in Hoxton’s local community that neighbours Tech City, home to a burgeoning tech, creative, hospitality and leisure economy.

Designed in partnership with Gensler Architects, the former Hackney Homes 1960’s community hall has been transformed into an exciting, dynamic, open space, purpose built for local residents to tap into the business community to meet and create opportunities.

A new location for Hackney Council’s ‘Ways into Work’ recruitment job brokerage service, the Hub will help unemployed residents (currently at 9.4 per cent in the borough) find work with personalised mentoring, workshops, business-led training and master classes from subject experts.

The Hub has been designed to help all resident’s access new opportunities with special events, after-school sessions and free-to-use computers and Wi-Fi. With some residents having never used the internet, the Hub’s free equipment and training will provide the support and skills needed to get online.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Hackney Council
The new Opportunity Hub’s location in the heart of the community will ensure that local residents in Shoreditch can benefit from the employment opportunities that are found in the neighbourhood’s growing creative tech, retail and hospitality sectors. The Hub has also been designed to be a community space that can support after school clubs and other training sessions, including creative tech skills, such as coding for residents of all ages. The Hub is a space where our local business community can connect with residents.
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Hackney Council
The Opportunity Hub is a great initiative that Gensler was only too happy to be involved in. Gensler has always been very supportive of Hackney’s endeavours to promote the area and make effective changes not only for local businesses, but also its residents. The Bell Club had been underutilised for some years. Gensler's pro bono design services helped Hackney realise the Bell Club's hidden potential, producing a new space that reflects the attitude & vibe of one of London’s most vibrant and exciting boroughs today. For many, taking that first step can be daunting in itself, so the space had to be conducive to discussion & learning and approachable, from one-to-one sessions to group workshops, whilst still being able to host social events.

“Money and time are always factors in any project, but neither affected the ambition or the end result in this case – a welcome change especially given the worthwhile intent.
Ross Burgoyne, Gensler’s senior associate and project designer

The first event to take place at the Opportunity Hub was a free employment event for Hackney people aged 16-24 that helped to provide a range of workshops from coaching in preparation for job interviews, to hints and tips for applying for jobs online.

For more information about the Hackney Opportunity Hub, please email: waysintowork@hackney.gov.uk