May 24, 2019

What’s on in E1 — Working in Whitechapel & Aldgate

What was once a road for commuters in the 16th century is now becoming one of London’s busiest business districts. But it’s not all suits and ties.

Market & Insights
What’s on in E1 — Working in Whitechapel & Aldgate

Introduction

With famous art galleries, markets and museums, Aldgate and Whitechapel have long been popular spots for tourists and locals alike. However, this area is also becoming popular with tech entrepreneurs and scale-ups teams as in Shoreditch, London’s tech centre, commercial rent prices have been skyrocketing.

Offering great transport links, affordable rent, famous attractions and an extensive selection of great bars and restaurants, the E1 postcode has proven popular for entrepreneurs and established tech companies alike. The area is also conveniently located between tech city, London’s insurance district and popular residential areas such as Mile End.

Although the district is yet to see the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf or the bustling startup scene of Shoreditch, market leaders such as Uber and Lebara have quietly been moving into the area. As the tech scene has grown, accelerators, incubators and training providers have arrived in the area. General Assembly, for example, provides accelerated tech training courses for tech employees looking to upskill and underrepresented groups looking to get into tech in the Aldgate area.

A number of tech scale-ups have also been moving into the area. Trint, a Whitechapel-based transcription software company, was recently shortlisted in KPMG’s ‘Best New Tech Business’ competition. Samsara, a US-based company, which has raised $230m in funding since 2015, set up their first overseas office in Aldgate. With affordable commercial infrastructure, the area is a good location for fast-growing scale-ups.

Whitechapel history
Whitechapel High Street 1905

Roman Road to A13

The Roman built Whitechapel Road, now the A13, has been a popular route for people entering and leaving London for centuries. Originally located outside of London’s city walls, this area was known for its tanneries, breweries and foundries. Until recently the area was also home to Britain’s oldest manufacturing business, The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which saw the creation of the bells for Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell.

During late Victorian times, local industries began losing out to competition overseas. The area became desperately overcrowded and poverty was rampant as most businesses in the area failed. Crime also became commonplace. Whitechapel was home to the infamous Jack the Ripper who committed the Whitechapel murders between 1888–1891. Tours of his murder scenes are a popular attraction for many visitors.

Aldgate East Station 1895

In 2013, Whitechapel Vision was launched with the aim to build 3,500 new homes by 2025, creating 5,000 new jobs, create a global research campus and more. The Elizabeth underground line, which is currently under construction, will connect Whitechapel to other popular business districts, including Liverpool Street, Paddington and Canary Wharf, furthering the borough’s connectivity to other key business districts.

Working in E1

Whitechapel, Aldgate, and the neighbouring areas, including Shoreditch, offer a unique balance of historic and modern attractions. For teams working in the area, a lunch break can offer a lot more than incredible street food.

Spitalfields Market

Established in 1197, Spitalfields market is around 600 years older than the United States. This historical landmark serves up some of the best international street food in London, alongside incredible artwork.

Whitechapel Art Gallery

Established in 1901, the Whitechapel Art Gallery is one of London’s most famous galleries, having featured works from Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo and more.

Brick Lane

A showcase in London’s diverse and expressive artistic crowd, Brick Lane is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. With restaurants, popup shops, markets and festivals, the area makes for a memorable visit.

Complimenting the famous historical landmarks are a great selection of local restaurants, bar and activities. The Techspace team has been working in the area for years, so we put together a list of our favourite restaurants, cafes, bars and activities. (see below).

Techspace Top Tips

Here are a few of the restaurants, bars, cafes and activities that the Techspace team have enjoyed while working in the area.

Food:

  • Amber (££)
    Amber might just be the most popular restaurant among the Techspace team. With fresh and healthy dishes, Amber serves up great food at a great price.
  • Roast & Toast (£)
    Probably the best grab-and-go buffet in the area. Enjoy great salads, and roast chicken for under £5.
  • Pilpel (£)
    Even the most passionate carnivores can enjoy a vegetarian falafel wrap at Pilpel. Perhaps the best grab-and-go meal for under £5 in the area.

Coffee:

  • Treves & Hyde (££)
    With one of the only 2 Mavam Coffee Machines in the country, wielded by knowledgable baristas, this a great place to grab a world-class coffee.
  • Exmouth Coffee Company (££)
    This award-winning cafe is a great place to treat yourself to a pastry and some of the best coffee in the city.
  • Black Sheep (£)
    Fast, affordable and located right by the tube station, if you’re not stopping by on your way to work than you’re doing caffeine wrong. Find out why it’s one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK for yourself.

Drinks:

  • Leman Street Tavern (££)
    This classy tavern is a luxurious take on the classic London pub. A short walk from our Whitechapel workspace, this is a great all rounder for food, drinks and even cocktail masterclasses.
  • The Running Horse (£)
    This stylish pub is a popular spot for after work drinks. With a vibrant atmosphere, craft beers and an extensive gin selection this is a regular for the Techspace team.

Activities:

  • Aim Escape Room
    Get lost and confused in one of London’s best escape rooms. Work with your teammates to solves puzzles and secure bragging rights with a record escape time.
  • Whitechapel Gallery
    This famous gallery has premiered works from world-famous artists including Picasso, Rothko and Frida Kahlo. Check out their year-round exhibitions, galleries and art courses.

Surrounded by historical, cultural and modern attractions, with strong transport links and affordable commercial property (by London standards), it’s clear why E1 is becoming so popular with tech businesses.

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