The slow death of Shoreditch?

Manchester Northern Quarter

Alex talks about the slow death of Shoreditch in a post.

Maybe it’s because during the Olympics politicians were invited to an area of town they wouldn’t have been caught dead in previously. Maybe on those trips to Old Street they realised it’s full of nice post-industrial buildings that would make for the types of fantastic loft spaces they experience in New York. Maybe it’s because they compare Shoreditch to the City and think that housing would help liven it up during weekends. Maybe if they’d lived in Hackney, they’d understand why they should just leave it be and stick to the initial plan to support startups and a tech community not give bankers a chance to live 10 minutes away from work.

One of the many reasons why Shoreditch works for startups is precisely its crap, badly heated, badly connected post-industrial buildings that don’t cost a fortune. That’s why there was an industry there in the first place right? And also everyone’s here, for now. (I’m already starting to hear of friends and colleagues relocating south of the river or even more east, where prices aren’t crazy.)

I do understand where shes coming from but another part of me wonders what she and others, think was going to happen?

Once Silicon roundabout was named and appeared in the likes of Wired magazineThe rest was a forgone conclusion.

Shoreditch featured heavily in the first dot com era too. But that was short lived, too many people using there investment money to buy themselves Audi TT’s it seemed like. This time there might have been something there but it quickly sold its self as the only place to be for startups, which simply isn’t true. London has a lot of space to offer and south of the river there is a lot of unused and unloved buildings just waiting for someone to do something with.

As someone whos lived on the edge of regenerated areas a few times its what happens and you learn to live with it.

In years to come they will say the same thing of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. You can already feel the push into Piccadilly Basin. In the last few months theres been at least 5 new bars in an area which was pretty much canal and housing. I remember when Kate too me there when I first arrived in Manchester. I thought it was great spot for bars and restaurants but up till recently the likes of the Moon have failed. I can imagine the rent is cheaper but there is the influence of the northern quarter heading towards Piccadilly for sure.

Changes is the only thing which is consistent…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and