Opportunities and areas

There are a number of key opportunity sites for investment in Waltham Forest. Investment in transport links, schools, public facilities, and town centres, make Waltham Forest a great place to live, changing all the time.

To find out more about the opportunities in these areas, please contact us.

Assembly hall view of inside

Walthamstow Assembly Hall 

Are you ready to set the stage for unforgettable cultural events in the heart of Walthamstow? We're excited to announce a unique opportunity to operate Walthamstow Assembly Hall and are looking for a partner who will establish the venue as the anchor of Walthamstow’s developing cultural quarter. We’re inviting partners to creatively imagine the potential for the Assembly Hall and the commercial opportunities it presents, to further benefit our community and visitors alike. 

Walthamstow Assembly Hall, a purpose-built events venue, offers unique art deco architecture and superb acoustics, lending itself to live music performances as it features separate bars, a green room, private balcony space and a readymade box office. With a rich music history dating back to the 1960s, the venue has hosted performances by legendary bands such as The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, The Stranglers and Iron Maiden, as well as recordings of classical pieces, by the BBC and Decca, including the Royal Philharmonic. More recently, the venue has showcased DJs such as Nina Kraviz, Blessed Madonna, Daniel Avery and Nightmares on Wax. We are looking for a partner to build on this reputation and reestablish the space as a world class venue and bring the long heritage of music back to the Waltham Forest.

The Grade II listed building has 1800+sqm over two floors, incorporating a large multifunctional hall, commercial kitchen, and a range of break out spaces, accommodating up to 1200 visitors. Perfect for conferences, weddings, banquets, exhibitions or expos. The Assembly Hall previously hosted everything from ballet to boxing, we are looking for a partner that will optimise the multi-functionality of the space.

Our vision for the Assembly Hall is to build a long-term partnership with an experienced operator who will curate a day and night-time cultural programme that resonates locally and London-wide, and delivers tangible social value opportunities as well as a sustainable financial return. 

Image of future civic hall

Civic Food Hall

London Borough of Waltham Forest has an exciting opportunity for an operator to launch a diverse, exciting Food Hall in the heart of Walthamstow.

Fellowship Square reopened to the public in 2021 after the refurbishment and regeneration of the historic buildings that make up the Town Hall Campus as well as introducing state-of-the-art fountains, creating an award-winning inclusive and welcoming environment for the local community. We are now seeking a partner to establish an innovative and accessible food and beverage offering on the ground floor of the new Civic Centre. 

The Civic Food Hall provides an excellent opportunity to create a food hub that prioritises local traders, provides a year-round food offer for residents, workers and visitors, as well as an events program which utilises the various spaces inside the Civic Centre as well as opportunities for outdoor activation on Fellowship Square is a welcoming and usable space. 

The Square has experienced a 38% surge in footfall since 2022 and has had a positive impact on the local economy, with 145 local traders in the last year trading on the site. In addition to this, there have been circa 180 training opportunities offered locally. We are seeking an operator who will continue to create and maximise opportunities for local residents, through training and placements. 

The Civic Food Hall coincides with the launch of Walthamstow Assembly Hall as a world-class events venue, also on the Fellowship Square site. This will further establish Fellowship Square as an exciting cultural destination which will attract visitors locally and London-wide, driving footfall. We are looking for an exciting operator that will utilise this opportunity to build a successful Food Hall, ensuring it is diverse and accessible whilst delivering a sustainable financial return, and social impact opportunities for residents. 

Image of Cheshnuts House

Chestnuts House

Chestnuts House is a Grade II listed former mansion built in the 1740s. The building retains a number of its original features, including an impressive main staircase and several fireplaces. It is regarded as the least altered example of Georgian domestic architecture in Waltham Forest. 

We are offering a 25 year lease to an established operator or consortium to manage and establish Chestnuts House as an innovation hub for early stage and established creative businesses. Our vision for the space is that it will be a thriving hub for creative innovation, serving young, diverse, local talent to make, create, perform and enjoy this unique venue. Chestnuts House will provide pathways for creatives from under-represented groups to establish and thrive. 

Chestnuts House’s unique features are ideal for operators to offer a mix of studio, workshop and maker-spaces for the flourishing, local creative community, as well as serving established business in Walthamstow and across the borough. The Coach House and Courtyard provide impressive and versatile spaces to host year-round events and a vibrant food and drinks offer.

Situated on Hoe Street, Walthamstow, an area which is a magnet for young start-up businesses, Chestnuts House is primed to become a hub for innovation and entrepreneurs. It is also on the southern boundary of the Cultural Quarter and less than a 10 minute walk from the Victoria line and overground trains at Walthamstow Central Station. 

Additionally, the arrival of the University of Portsmouth campus and influx of students provides an excellent opportunity for Chestnuts House to become a destination for young, diverse, local talent to congregate and create.

You will be an imaginative and innovative operator who brings relevant experience to manage this unique site, blending a successful creative workspace offer with an enticing food and beverage outlet, and an ability to curate a public facing year-round events programme. Chestnuts House should create significant social value for local enterprises and residents, and you will be able to evidence tangible results of this. 

Contact us for more information: fay.cannings@walthamforest.gov.uk


Leytonstone, E11

Leytonstone continues to provide a vibrant mix of retail, food and drink and a diverse employment offer with some significant heritage and community assets and listed buildings. It is near the Future Whipps Cross new neighbourhood and to attractive green and blue assets and is well connected for transport, being served by the Central line and Overground. Leytonstone is the borough’s second largest town centre and home to a vibrant and diverse community surrounded by green spaces on the edge of Epping Forest. It has excellent transport links, with the central line and an overground line running through the heart of the town centre.

The council is undertaking a Town Centre Framework setting out development and public realm investment, including four Site Allocation sites in the borough’s emerging Local Plan (2020 to 2035), which could deliver up to 1,600 new homes, 25,000 sqm new workspace and 3,000 new jobs. A draft Leytonstone Town Centre Framework was produced by the Council in 2021 to help realise and guide investment and improvements in Leytonstone over the next 15 years. A second round of public engagement took place in spring 2023 to help further shape the framework.

High street

Leyton, E10

Plans for Leyton include minimum growth targets of 6,350 new homes and higher density of housing around the Leyton Tube Station. The council intends to deliver co-ordinated new development around a potential new rail station at Ruckholt Road and intensify development at Leyton Mills, including new quality homes, employment and workspace, appropriate retail provision, cultural uses and supporting social and community infrastructure.

Our Local Plan sets out plans for future development at New Spitalfields.  If the market comes up for redevelopment during the Local Plan period, create a thriving, mixed-use sustainable neighbourhood, including new quality homes and jobs. The City of London Corporation has recently submitted a planning application to Barking and Dagenham, proposing the relocation of New Spitalfields Market from its current site in Leyton to the former Barking Reach Power Station site. This is expected to happen in 2026.

This presents a unique opportunity for the creation of a new piece of the city on the vacated land in Leyton and the key strategic sites that surround it: 

  • Temple Mills bus depot
  • Leyton Mills Retail Park
  • Eton Manor part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Blackhorse Lane, E17

Blackhorse lane area represents the largest transformation change seen in the borough to date over the last 10 years set within a unique location alongside Europe’s largest urban wetlands, Walthamstow Wetlands and all located right next to the Victoria Line. Walthamstow’s West side is fast becoming a creative, art and food hub amidst its impressive new housing zones. It’s a burgeoning neighbourhood with a series of interesting eating and drinking spots. The former Ferry Lane industrial estate, snaking alongside the peaceful Walthamstow Wetlands has been regenerated and it’s now home to the Blackhorse Beer Mile joining up an urban winery and six craft breweries, with more likely planned. . The housing is now almost complete with The Standard music venue on Forest Road coming forward soon to be restored back to its former glory as an exciting entertainment venue. All complimented by a semi-industrial stretch that’s now home to lots of small workshops and studios, making anything from kitchen units to jeans and industrial-chic co-working spaces such as Foundry now open. 

With new-builds mixed in with the older buildings, it’s an excellent place for young families and first-time buyers can hop on the E17 ladder. Blackhorse Lane has long attracted creative talent which is now more formally supported by the creative enterprise zone. This year, the zone was officially launched as Blackhorse Collective, part of a new Mayor of London scheme providing affordable spaces for artists and creative businesses. To the north of the housing zone, the Blackhorse Lane strategic industrial location (SIL) represents the next phase of transformational opportunity. The Blackrock ownership in this location is now has the first consented hybrid application to align to the Blackhorse Lane masterplan framework delivered by Waltham Forest. This application will deliver up to 1,800 high quality home, and 29,000sqm of new industrial floor place representing 1,000 jobs. The framework anticipates that even further jobs, homes and industrial floor space can be delivered in this location over the next 15 years. An industry first approach is being taken to ensure that this well-connected area supports creatives and makers for years to come. 

The market

Walthamstow, E17

Walthamstow is at the heart of the borough, both geographically and economically, and provides homes, employment, retail, services and leisure opportunities for large numbers of people. 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 such as The Scene, a complex with Empire cinema, restaurants and new homes and 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 a 950-seater comedy, theatre and music venue and cultural hub managed by Soho Theatre. In addition, the council have 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.  Further council-led improvements to the public realm in Walthamstow Town Centre are due for completion in Spring 2023.  
Future investment in Walthamstow includes the regeneration and development of key council-owned sites including Central Parade, Central House, Juniper House and Chestnuts House. The council have also committed to facilitating development of proposals and delivery plans for key third party owned sites, which include The Mall and St James Quarter.  

Markhouse Corner

Lea Bridge, E10

Lea Bridge sits in the south-west of the borough. It is identified in the emerging Local Plan as an area where a significant increase in housing, employment space, jobs, and infrastructure investment is expected over the next 10 to 15 years. 

The area has an active and diverse community and strong history, developed from marshland into an important industrial area in the 19th Century. Currently, Lea Bridge is characterised by its mix of waterways and green spaces including the Lee Valley Regional Park, Dagenham Brook, and the River Lea. It is also known well for its industrial land, diverse range of businesses, and residential areas. 

The Council is currently working on the Lea Bridge Area Framework. The framework will help to coordinate some of the changes happening locally. It will also help to realise the benefits of potential development and investment including:

  • public realm and open space improvements
  • climate adaptation initiatives
  • health facilities
  • community spaces and social infrastructure. 

South Leytonstone

South Leytonstone is a key gateway into Waltham Forest. A variety of small, independent shops trace the length of Leytonstone High Road, which runs through the neighbourhood’s centre.  

The area is served directly by Leytonstone High Road Overground, with underground stations located a short walk away. The Crossrail at Maryland Station, expected in 2022, will transform local transport links, with a service expected to run every five minutes into Central London.

South Leytonstone is the historical heart of the south of the borough and has a strong and active local community. The arrival of immigrants into the area over time has added to the creation of the areas unique and diverse character.

There are several important developments coming forward in the area soon, and the creation of a South Leytonstone Area Framework is seeking to help coordinate some of the change happening locally and realise the benefits of potential development and investment in the area.