Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the questions we get asked most often. If you can't find what you're looking for then email us on

How is the space managed?
The space will be managed on a day to day basis by The Trampery. The Trampery is a London-based social enterprise, specialising in shared workspace and support for entrepreneurs and creative businesses. Individual studios will be let to designers and makers by The Trampery. London College of Fashion will be responsible for the management of the Making for Change training space and production unit.
Who else was involved in delivery of Poplar Works?
The project is supported in part via grants from the Greater London Authority. It is being delivered as a partnership between Poplar HARCA, London College of Fashion, UAL and The Trampery. The building was designed by Adams and Sutherland architects and constructed by Niblock Building Contractors. The design and construction contracts were tendered via our standard OJEU compliant procedure.
Can I rent a studio at Poplar Works if my business doesn’t relate to fashion?
We want to build a community of businesses that can support one another, so most studios will be rented to businesses working in the fashion economy. Our idea of the fashion economy is quite broad though, so if you aren’t sure if this means you then get in touch. Our Makery studios are also more flexible and are open to anyone working in a making or design based business.
Will local people have priority access to the studios?
We consider four factors when someone applies for a studio: Connection to the local community; sustainability; entrepreneurial skills; and creative talent. Having an existing connection to the area is not required to rent a workspace, but we expect all members to contribute to Poplar's community once they have moved in.
Will local people have priority places on training programmes at Poplar Works?
This will depend on the programme.
The Making for Change training programme has a particular focus on the employment of local women. London College of Fashion, UAL has been working with community sewing groups in Poplar, Bow and Limehouse over the past 2 years and we expect a large percentage of local participants.
How long are the Making for Change training programmes?
The programme will require a commitment from the participants of 3 days per week, from October 2020 to July 2021 to complete both levels 1 and 2. The course will run between 09:30am - 14.45pm. Exact times and days of the week are to be confirmed.
What qualifications do I need to apply for the Making for Change training programmes?
To be accepted on the Level 1 certificate you do not need any prior knowledge or experience but must have a commitment to study and English language level at or above E3. To progress to Level 2 you would need to have a Level 1 qualification in fashion or equivalent skills and knowledge.
How many people will be trained at Making for Change?
The courses will be able to train up to 16 participants per year, aiming to progress participants to complete both Levels 1 and 2 within the academic year.
How can I apply for a place on Making for Change training programmes?
Applications for Making for Change training programmes 2020 are now open. Contact London College of Fashion to register your interest.

For further information on the courses and how to apply please contact Lauren McKirdy, Project Manager. Email or call 07715 810 391.
Who will teach the Making for Change training programmes?
London College of Fashion, UAL is working in partnership with Newham College who will deliver the Fashion Production training. You will be enrolled as a Newham College student and you will have access to all of the learner support and resources that you will need to achieve your potential, including free entry to the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey.
What happens when you finish Level 1 and Level 2 Fashion and Textiles training programmes?
The aim is to provide opportunities within the industry and the wider community of Poplar Works through the many designers and enterprises who will be on site. Making for Change will enable graduates of the programme to develop their skills through work placement opportunities, continuing education or potential employment.
Will attending the Making for Change training programmes affect my benefits?
The course is part-time so in most cases benefits should not be affected, however we advise that all applicants check with their local job centre.
Do I have to pay for the Making for Change training programmes?
On enrolment you will be fee assessed. Applicants claiming benefits do not usually pay fees.
Who will be able to access the training programmes?
Making for Change training programmes will be open to all, with a particular focus on people who are interested in developing their technical and production knowledge and skills and may wish to pursue a career in the fashion production and manufacturing industry. Some business support programmes will be open to members of the public, while others will be targeted at London College of Fashion alumni or Poplar Works members. We will also be working with enterprise teams at other local institutions such as The Hive and Launch 22 Poplar to ensure that anyone who wants support in setting up a business can get this.
Why was Poplar Works built on a garage site?
London is losing thousands of square metres of workspace a year due to permitted development and residential redevelopment. We need new solutions to deliver affordable spaces for people to learn and work, alongside new housing. Given the chronic shortage of available land, Poplar HARCA decided that the garages adjacent to the A12, most of which were empty and in poor condition, could best be used to deliver economic opportunity to the community without adversely affecting residents.
What happened to people using the garages before?
The garages were under occupied and in a poor state of repair. Of the 101 garages that formed the site for Poplar Works, only 31 were in use. All residents using garages were offered new garages within 250m of their existing garages, and were given more than a months’ notice to relocate.


Poplar Works is opening in November 2019. Anyone can apply for studios or a programme at Poplar Works.

Applications for studios will open in September. You can read about how we let our studios and apply here. Let us know if you’re interested and we will be in touch when applications open.

Apply for a studio or a training programme

About Us

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Have a look at the sites and studios that make up Poplar Works