A number of creative companies, including Deluxe’s UK post-production house Encore, sound studio Angell Sound and VFX/grading house Freefolk are seeing their Soho offices under threat from a proposed luxury hotel development.
“It’s really part of the erosion of the capacity for the creative industries to continue to exist in Soho," said one local facility owner, speaking to AMI and who wished to remain anonymous.
"It takes away space that is currently being used by a number of post companies etc., so what happens then? I would imagine the availability of spare space in Soho will be cut back or rents will just become prohibitive.”
Building the seven-storey hotel would entail the demolition of the iconic Film House on 142-150 Wardour Street and 138-140 Wardour Street (behind retained facades) a well as the full demolition of the building at 20 St Anne’s Court.
“Although companies within the affected buildings will have their protection rights, in the long term it’s still a worrying situation,” added the facility owner. “It does seem rather extraordinary on the basis that Soho already seems to have a plethora of hotels.
Another hotel is just another nail in the coffin. It’s a shocker.”
“In London as a whole, there is a degree of uncertainty over Brexit and that is having a general impact on what people are doing with their property. Another hotel is just another nail in the coffin though. It’s a shocker.”
The application to the City of Westminster has been met with strong opposition from creative companies and representatives from Soho’s community. A comment received by the City of Westminster on Monday 11 December, from an anonymous source, said:
“Demolishing historic buildings to build an unnecessary hotel and restaurant will cause massive disruption and pollution in an already disrupted area and strip even more of Soho’s character away. The creative industries, the local community and its rich history are what bring people to Soho but as these characteristics disappear so will the attraction and the local economy.”
The story was initially reported by Broadcastat the end of November.
Find out if you will be affected by the proposal, here.
(Pictured: How the Film House building in Soho will look after being converted into a hotel)