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Romford's former co-working space The Retailery to be renamed and taken over by new operator

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:53 02 September 2019

80-84 Market Place, formerly known as The Retailery, to be renamed and taken over by Romford based church group. Picture: Havering Council

80-84 Market Place, formerly known as The Retailery, to be renamed and taken over by Romford based church group. Picture: Havering Council

Havering Council

What used to be the popular co-working space The Retailery will soon have a different name and be under new management.

Havering Council, which took over the space in Romford Market from Community Interest Company (CIC) Things Made Public and renamed it 80-84 Market Place, has found an operator to take on the day to day management.

KingsHeart, a church group based in Romford, has been chosen as it already runs another premises, holding community events and mentoring businesses, including new start-ups, to help them grow.

Things Made Public was forced to close The Retailery earlier this year after an application for necessary funding was rejected by Havering Council.

Council leader Councillor Damian White said: "When the former operators pulled out of The Retailery, now 80-84 Market Place, we stepped in to safeguard the businesses currently located in the premises.

"When this happened, we promised to find a new operator to take over, and we are pleased to announce that this will be KingsHeart.

"This commitment is great news and we look forward to working with KingHeart.

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"In our view, this is the best solution, safeguarding the businesses currently housed in 80-84 Market Place for the future.

"It also supports our plans to support local businesses of all sizes so that we continue to have thriving town centres."

As well as a new operator, the venue will have a new name and from now on will be known as Heart & Soul.

Plans for the site include reintroducing events such as open mic night and soul, jazz and musical theatre themed events.

The group is also looking at recommissioning the bar and coffee facilities, installing a professional sound, stage and light set up and a baby grand piano.

Steve from KingsHeart said: "We are thrilled to be partnering with Havering Council in the regeneration of 80-84 Market Place.

"Its new name - Heart & Soul - reflects our hope that the community will re-embrace the venue as a creative, friendly and enjoyable place to come.

"If you love something a little bit different with live music, art, good food and community spirit, we know you will feel at home at Heart & Soul."

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