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East London nightclub E1 reveals plans for new venue

The new, purpose-built E1 will be next door to its current Wapping site

By Joe Goggins

E1 nightclub in Wapping
The plans represent a rare victory for an under-threat London venue. (Photo: Press)

East London nightclub E1 has laid out plans for a new, purpose-built venue next door to its current site.

The future of the much-loved Wapping club had been in jeopardy after an appeal was lodged against the new plans in May of this year, with concerns expressed about existing local residents as well as future residents of the proposed new development on the current E1 site.

Now, however, that appeal has been dismissed following a public enquiry, meaning that McLaren Construction have been given the green light by Tower Hamlets council to demolish the current home of E1 and build  a new development that will include a Big Yellow Storage facility, 115 residential flats and a new nightclub, which will be the new, permanent home of E1.

Documents reveal that the council cited the cultural importance of E1, as well as the abundance of multi-disciplinary arts spaces already in existence in the area, in making their decision. It secures the long-term future of E1, with Yuval Hen, its owner and founder, saying: “For several years, we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes in collaboration with Tower Hamlets and Big Yellow Storage to ensure and safeguard the future of E1. We are now happy to confirm that the development plans include a brand new bespoke purpose-built venue, taking into account sound mitigation, that will become our new home once the initial development is complete, with construction not due to begin for approximately 5 years.”

E1 will continue to operate as usual in the interim, and accordingly, has announced its autumn/winter programme for 2023. “We are also glad to confirm that throughout planning, development, and construction, E1 in its current form will remain open as it is now – committed to on point curation, cutting edge sound, awe-inspiring visuals, and above all a safe and welcoming space for all,” Hen concluded.

The news will come as a welcome shot in the arm for London nightlife, which haas found itself under relentless threat from developers in recent years. “Fantastic news to hear that the future of E1 is safe, such an important venue for London,” said Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, in a statement. “Important to recognise the roles of Tower Hamlets and Yellow Storage and the team at E1 for brokering this unique agreement.

“It’s vital that this agreement is taken forward as an example of true partnership working across the UK,” he went on. “This has the hallmark of a strategy for culture and residents across major cities to coexist and thrive, as we have seen in major European cities for many years.”

E1’s lineup for the rest of the year features the usual blend of drum and bass, techno, house, acid, electro and breakbeat. Among those slated to perform are Overmono, DJ Bone, Nastia and Dan Ghenacia, as well as a global debut for Lady Starlight & STERAC and a 40th birthday celebration for Mixmag.