Office Leasing Guide: East London- Stratford and Hackney
The region of East London occupied by Stratford and Hackney is favoured by businesses and individuals alike for its great transport links to the city centre and ongoing regeneration.
Stratford is perhaps best known for being home to the 2012 Olympic Park. Recently, the area has been adapted for residential use and the park itself has become the base for business initiatives like Here East, International Quarter London (IQL) and Good Growth Hub. Thanks, in part, to this redevelopment, Stratford is now the second most important business site in East London after Canary Wharf.
Hackney is also a popular place to live and work. In fact, more residents cycle to their job there than in any other London borough. Like Stratford, the district is being continually revamped, and you’ll find plenty of fantastic food and nightlife spots to visit in your spare time.
Stratford and Hackney have a long history as an agricultural region before industrialisation brought steam engines, which improved its transport links. Today, it’s a well-connected area and a variety of different rail lines provide routes into London City and away towards the outskirts.
Walking around Stratford, it’s easy to spot monuments to the borough’s past achievements. The 10-metre-high ‘Railway Tree’ – known locally as the ‘rhubarb structure’ – celebrates Stratford’s industrialisation and train lines. And the Shoal sculpture, with its 73 leaves, was erected to mark the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Key business areas in Stratford and Hackney
The subject of a significant regeneration project, Stratford is increasingly attractive for businesses –Transport For London, Cancer Research and the Financial Conduct Authority have all recently moved to the area. It’s thought that businesses moving in will create 40,000 jobs by 2025.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the district’s biggest draw, and if you’re looking for flexible office spaces, IQL is one to keep in mind. It prioritises wellbeing with innovative workplace design and plenty of green spaces.
Between the Olympic Park and Old Street sits ‘Tech City’ and its famous ‘Silicon Roundabout’. In the past decade, it’s attracted fast-growing start-ups and thriving companies from across the technology sector.
Within the borough of Hackney, Shoreditch is the main employment hub, spanning a range of different industries, from transport and food to social work, education and business management. Hackney Central is the district’s second biggest economy, with almost 7,500 workers across sectors including retail, real estate and education. Dalston comes third, with 4,500 employees in business support, retail, construction and law.
Getting around Stratford and Hackney
Stratford and Hackney sit in Zone 2, with excellent transport links into the capital’s centre, as well as its surrounding areas. Hackney, in particular, is very well-connected; you can get to London City by rail in less than quarter of an hour, and St Pancras in under 20 minutes.
There are many overground rail stations across Stratford and Hackney
Stratford’s main rail interchanges are Stratford Station and Stratford International. The first has an overground route to Richmond and a TfL rail line, which runs from Liverpool Street to Shenfield. You can also use the station to catch Greater Anglia trains to locations across the South-East, as well as the DLR and Central underground line.
Head to Stratford International to take the Southeastern railway to St Pancras, Ashford or Margate. Or use underground station Leyton, which connects to the Central line heading towards Epping in the north and Ruislip in the west, through London City.
Hackney also has a number of overground stations. Hoxton, Haggerston and Dalston Junction are found to the west of the region, while Dalston Kingsland, Hackney Central, Homerton and Hackney Wick run east towards Stratford and west to Richmond.
If you need to get into London City, get the overground from Hackney Downs, Rectory Road, Stoke Newington or Stamford Hill to Liverpool Street Station. It links up with the Central, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City underground lines.
Buses connect Stratford and Hackney to major London areas
Hackney has an extensive bus network, with routes terminating in Marble Arch, Victoria and Oxford Circus. Slightly further afield, bus destinations include Finsbury Park, Euston, Holloway and Walthamstow. To the south, you can also access Aldgate, Crossharbour and Newham University Hospital by bus.
If you’re travelling from Stratford, you can get to London Bridge and City Thameslink easily. Other routes run in all directions, ending in Chingford, Romford, Ilford, Canning Town and Lewisham.
Most airports are around an hour’s drive from Stratford and Hackney
From Stratford and Hackney, you can get to London City Airport in less than half an hour by car, or 40 minutes by train. Heathrow, Gatwick and Stanstead are all roughly an hour’s drive away. It’ll take an extra half hour to get to Heathrow by rail, but the others can be reached by train in around 60 minutes.
Hackney borders the A501
Driving to London’s surrounding areas is simple if you’re based in Hackney, as the A501 runs through the district. Following the road around the capital, you’ll pass Kennington, Westminster, Paddington and King’s Cross.
Business amenities in East London
Stratford and Hackney have a wide range of hotels
Hackney and Stratford have plenty of suitable accommodation options if you’re looking to impress a client. The Stratford Hotel offers all-day dining and incredible views over the Olympic Park, just 120 yards from the entrance to Stratford International Station. Hackney has its fair share of luxurious hotels too, such as The Hoxton in Shoreditch, a six-minute walk away from Old Street tube station.
Hackney and Stratford host all kinds of restaurants
You’ll never be short of restaurants to visit when you work in Hackney or Stratford. To name just a few tempting options, you’ll find Italian diner Santi, seafood eatery Fish House and Asian restaurant Sichuan Grand within Stratford’s borders.
For a memorable meal in Hackney, try Nest, which serves up sustainably sourced, seasonal ingredients, including meats you’re unlikely to come by in other nearby restaurants. For more relaxed occasions, the Howling Hops Brewery and Tank Bar is sure to fit the bill. And if you’re looking for fine dining, Pidgin offers beautifully presented, Asian-inspired dishes.
There are meeting rooms of all shapes and sizes in Hackney and Stratford
You’ll find a diverse range of meeting spaces in convenient locations across Hackney and Stratford. If it’s character you’re looking for, The Fisheries in Hackney has exposed brickwork and plenty of greenery – plus, it’s just 100 yards from London Fields Station.
But for showstopping vistas, you can’t ignore The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's selection of meeting spaces. Opt for The Podium Hospitality Suite to get high-end design and views of the striking ArcelorMittal Orbit.
Hackney and Stratford’s amenities don’t disappoint
Westfield Stratford City is the biggest shopping mall in Europe, so you’re spoilt for choice if you fancy a spot of retail therapy. It has over 250 shops and 80 bars and restaurants, as well as a cinema, bowling alley and casino.
There’s also no shortage of fitness facilities in the area; wherever you’re based, you’ll find a gym nearby. If you need to work off your meal, head to Gymbox in Westfield shopping centre. Or, if the weather’s fine, the Olympic Park Outdoor Gym is a great alternative near Stratford International Station.
Office tenants in Hackney and Stratford
- Transport For London
- Cancer Research
- Financial Conduct Authority
- L. K. Bennett
Key agents servicing Hackney and Stratford
- JBrown Stratford Estate Agents
- Glenny LLP
- Stirling Ackroyd
- Look Property
- Making Moves London
Interesting facts about Hackney and Stratford
- A quarter of Hackney’s population is under the age of 20, making it a relatively young borough.
- Hackney’s famous residents have included Dick Turpin, Edgar Allan Poe, Harold Pinter, Marc Bolan, Lord Alan Sugar, Tony Blair, Michael Caine, Barbara Windsor and Ray Winstone. Samuel Pepys regularly visited the Mermaid Tavern (now Mermaid Fabrics), and The Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and John Lydon met at Hackney Technical College.
- Victoria Park was opened in 1845 but people at the time were shocked by the lack of a ‘bathing pool’. Apparently, ‘local youths were in the habit of bathing – naked! – in the adjacent Regent’s Canal’.
- After being the centre for the 2012 Games, Stratford’s Olympic Stadium is now the home of West Ham United football team. It can accommodate 60,000 sports fans or 80,000 concertgoers.