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Olivia Stock
12 February 2024, 12:20

Printworks could reopen by 2026 as plans for “permanent cultural venue” submitted

Developers British Land and AustraliaSuper hope to reinstate the live music and arts venue, alongside new offices and shops

Photo of the press halls at former South London venue Printworks

Printworks could reopen as soon as 2026 as a “permanent cultural venue”, according to new development plans submitted to Southwark council.

Property developers British Land and AustralianSuper, who own the South London site, submitted a detailed proposal to the council on Monday (12th February) to reinstate one half of the site as a cultural space, while the other half would become offices and shops as previously planned.

The multi-purpose development would allow for electronic music events, club nights, art exhibitions and corporate events to once again be hosted at Printworks, which closed its doors in May 2023, six years after opening.

The proposed plans also include a new rooftop terrace space, a smaller performance space called The Inkwells, and new conference and corporate hospitality suites. The other half of the building, known as The Grand Press, will be turned into offices for 1,500 workers, as well as shops. 

According to a report by the The Guardian, British Land are in exclusive talks with events company Broadwick Live, who operated Printworks for six years, to run the new venue. They reportedly hope to receive planning permission within the next few months.

Emma Cariaga, joint head of Canada Water at British Land, said: “We want to deliver a permanent world-class cultural venue at Printworks that builds on its globally acclaimed legacy. Combining the best of the capital’s culture with next generation workspace at The Grand Press will create an unrivalled destination, which generations will benefit from for years to come. 

“Printworks had a tremendous impact on the UK’s cultural landscape, and its popularity over the past six years has demonstrated how important this venue is to Londoners and visitors.”

The former press halls building, known as Harmsworth Quays, was originally expected to be demolished after plans were submitted to “flatten” the 53-acre site and rebuild the area with luxury flats, shops, offices and restaurants.

Shortly after the 2023 closure, the team behind Printworks shared that they had made a “provisional deal” with British Land to reopen on the same site in 2026. The news followed a huge weekend of closing events featuring surprise guests Bicep, alongside Peggy Gou, Dixon, DJ Koze, I. JORDAN & SHERELLE, and more.

In developing the new site, British Land reportedly intends to salvage as much of the original printing equipment as possible, including much of the last press – which stands at four storeys high – along with rollers, paper storage racks, ink lines and valves.

“Having a big, versatile cultural venue in the area is important,” said Paul Clark, AustralianSuper’s head of real assets in Europe. “We don’t want to have a monochrome office environment or a dormitory suburb.”

Read the full report from The Guardian here. DJ Mag has reached out to Broadwick Live for a comment. 

Printworks ranked No.2 in DJ Mag’s 2023 Top 100 Clubs Poll.

Last September, Broadwick Live opened a new 15,000 capacity venue, DRUMSHEDS, in North London. The superclub’s second season will open with a sold-out show from Chase and Status on 23rd February 2024.