Startup businesses will soon have a new home in crates on St James Street.

CRATE St James Street is a new, council backed development that aims to create a business community in the centre of Walthamstow and is due for completion next month.

The modular project will see specially made crates made into business spaces for companies from retailers to restaurants.

More flexible than new-builds, it is hoped the crates will save businesses and the council money and they are light-weight enough to be moved in future if needs be.

The company behind the scheme are hoping their flexible lease terms will attract businesses and keep operational costs down.

The company’s hope is to deliver a business hub in central Walthamstow and boost economic regeneration in the area. They are being supported in the project by Waltham Forest Council.

Adam Walker, CRATE’s founder, said: “We are grateful to all our stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to deliver this ground-breaking scheme. Barker Associates, our structural engineers, have been instrumental in keeping our design and build on track and on budget.”

Work on site is nearly complete and is due to open in June.

Cllr Simon Miller, cabinet member for economic growth and high streets, said: “The council worked closely with local residents’ group St James Big Local to find a use for the vacant car park site to benefit the community and provide an economic boost for the area.

“We jointly appointed CRATE to run the project due to their excellent record in building vibrant new business communities. The project has undergone thorough due diligence and we are 100 per cent behind it.”

The cabinet member explained the development will contain 32 business units, split between retail and work space and 70 per cent of that will be reserved for business from Waltham Forest.

More than 600 expressions of interest for the units have been received.

Cllr Miller added: “We are determined to back the makers and doers who are the lifeblood of our local economy.

“The land is owned by the council and has been leased to CRATE for a five-year period on a peppercorn basis, so that they can provide a stable base for growing businesses in the borough.”

The authority has supported the project with £32,500 and the CRATE team will manage the selection process for tenants.

Cllr Miller added: “This is a really exciting development that will bring huge benefits to the area. We are thrilled to be working with St James Big Local and CRATE to deliver new opportunities for businesses, designers, and creatives to flourish in Waltham Forest and we know our residents will value this fantastic new community asset.”