A revitalised Hackney Central

What you told us

One of the borough’s main town centres, Hackney Central boasts an historic high street along Mare Street and the Narrow Way – and in recent years has welcomed new workspaces, businesses, and a bustling nightlife.

While Hackney Central is a busy town centre, some shops and commercial spaces sit empty. And although the area has a brilliant range of shops and businesses, they can suffer from poor connections across the town centre and public spaces that don’t fill their potential.

Thousands of people took part in the Hackney Central Conversation and helped create the Hackney Central Town Centre Strategy. You identified priorities including:

  • supporting the diverse range of shops and businesses
  • keeping larger anchor stores that help make it a destination
  • reconnecting different parts of the town centre
  • ensuring that the town centre has a good mix of uses that meet the needs of the local community.
Mare Street can be a bit messy - lots of things on the pavements, tripping hazards, people. The area would benefit from a clean up. It feels crowded and squeezed in which can be good but this is from things like cars and other vehicles.

What we're doing

Based on your feedback, we’re supporting markets at Bohemia Place and the Narrow Way, working with the landlords of vacant town centre buildings to ensure empty spaces and shops back into use, and improving public spaces to increase town centre footfall, help businesses and improve community safety.

We’ll also explore opportunities to use Council owned buildings in different ways and work with building owners to breathe new life into empty or underused buildings – making sure that the town centre has a good mix of uses that meet the needs of the local community.

This will support our mission for Hackney Central, created in partnership with the local community, to encourage a sustainable and inclusive economy in Hackney Central, which provides opportunities for local people and businesses.

Busy high street with people walking

How we're doing it

Illustrated icon showing front of a town hall


Our plans will boost footfall across the town centre, with investment in over 20,000 sqm of public spaces from Hackney Downs station to Hackney Town Hall Square.

Icon of a hammer and spanner


We’ve earmarked new investment to breathe new life into empty buildings, and will explore opportunities to utilise this across Hackney Central

Find out more

Repurposing empty buildings

Consultation is expected to begin in spring 2024 What we’re doing We’re investing in vacant buildings and sites in Hackney Central, breathing new life into existing buildings, ensuring the town centre maintains its vibrancy, and bringing in new uses and facilities that the community can benefit from. Why we’re doing it While Hackney Central remains a busy, lively town centre, some shops and commercial spaces are sitting empty. From our conversations with local...

Hackney Town Hall Square

Consultation is expected to begin in early 2024 What we’re doing Hackney Town Hall Square is the focal point of Hackney Central, linking the Grade II listed Hackney Town Hall, the historic Hackney Empire and vital community facilities like Hackney Central Library and the Hackney Museum. To maximise the potential of the square, we’re investing in improvements to create a better space for cultural events and an inclusive space for all parts of the community. Why...

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