London’s hipsterite tech community in Shoreditch has got a beef with developers. Led by former deputy CEO of Tech City, Ben Southworth, a campaign group has started under the strapline “Keep Tech City Weird” has put a petition together to try and maintain Shoreditch’s charm and stop developers from building flashy luxury apartments instead of creative workspaces.
Inspired by the news that Bishopsgate Goods Yard, near Shoreditch High Street Station, is to be redeveloped by Hammerson and Ballymore, people from businesses including ad giant Publicis Group have called for developers to put the area’s “people before property and profit.”
One of the many voices heard in the protest is that of Charles Armstrong, chief exec of The Trampery – the London Fields-based workspace which RBS chief Ross McEwan has chosen to make two of the bank’s presentations in the last year.
I've built a petition to ensure east london doesn't lose it's soul & charm. Will you help? http://t.co/Ga7NaolcJG— Benjamin Southworth (@inthecompanyof) July 28, 2014
“Ross McEwan delivered a keynote speech at our London Fields venue which was a significant statement about the importance of the creative industries,” Armstrong told The Capitalist.
“During the upgrading of the area we could start to see inappropriate developments which will be alien to the environment. London needs to maintain diversity, Shoreditch could end up looking like the City.”
Indeed, we daresay McEwan rather enjoys the change of scenery from glass towers to trendy red-brick Victoriana.