London’s Iconic Printworks Nightclub Will Shut Forever

The iconic London nightclub Printworks will be turned into offices and shops. Over 10,000 people called for it to be saved but the Southwark Council approved plans to partially bulldoze and refurbish the legendary warehouse venue in Canada Water at a planning meeting on July 11, as per My London.

World-famous DJs including Bicep and Pete Tong have played at the club. Printworks will be modified into 45,000 sq meters of retail, office, and co-working space as part of the proposals. Up to 3,000 new jobs will be created through the project by developer British Land.

Printworks opened in 2017. It began as a temporary entertainment space in the former Harmsworth Quays printing works building. Then the 6,000-capacity nightclub went on to become one of the UK’s best-known clubs. According to My London, it was ranked 7th best club in the world by DJ Mag in 2021. Printworks had its license extended for another five years in 2021. 

CGI of the planned offices on the site of the Printworks building (Image: CREDIT: Hawkins\Brown’s)

“The conversion of the warehouse venue is part of the Canada Water Masterplan regeneration project,” states My London. This project will transform a 21.27-hectare area (the same size as 39 football pitches) around Canada Water. “The area includes Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Surrey Quays Leisure Park, and the Printworks building. Around 20,000 jobs are expected to be created nearby through the regeneration scheme,” as per My London.

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Over 10,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling for Printworks to be saved. However, no one spoke in opposition to the proposals at a planning meeting on July 11. The petition describes the closure of the club as “heartbreaking”.

It reads: “Reports have revealed London has lost almost a quarter of its nightclubs since the pandemic started. There are 198 venues operating as nightclubs in the capital, the fewest since the mid-90s, according to figures from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA). That is a fall of 22 percent from 256 in 2019 before Covid struck. Industry bosses fear London risks losing its reputation as one of the world’s premier clubbing capitals.”

“Printworks is one of the UK’s most prestigious nightclubs hosting DJs and musicians from all over the world. The club is an essential part of creative youth culture not just in London, but also in the UK. The nightclub ranked number 7 In DJ Mag’s top 100 clubs worldwide in 2021. To lose this beloved venue would be heartbreaking.”

CGI of planned offices on the site of the Printworks building (Image: Southwark Council planning documents)

“To remove that in the name of further corporatization of the City would be to rip the soul of the area and heartbreaking to thousands of people,” the petition read.

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David Walters is the project lead from British Land. Walters said the Printworks building was essential to the regeneration of the area. He said: “Printworks is critical to this master plan. It alone will provide space for around 3,000 jobs. It will provide shops and restaurants alongside the new public park. It provides important bus infrastructure for Transport for London,” as per My London.

“Most importantly, it sets a benchmark for sustainable development and will result in the retention and reuse of this iconic structure to create a best in class and flexible workspace at the heart of the Canada Water masterplan.”

He added that British Land was in ongoing talks with the nightclub’s operator Broadwick Live to create a new “cultural venue” in the Canada Water area. According to My London, Southwark councilors approved British Land’s plans to turn the nightclub into offices unanimously at the meeting on July 11.

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Featured Image via Clubbing TV

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