Like this site? Help us to make it better.


London Courier Emergency Fund looks for new home as The Foundry faces redevelopment

Hoxton venue to be replaced by boutique hotel

The London Courier Emergency Fund (LCEF) faces having to find a new site for its meetings after Hackney council last night approved plans to redevelop The Foundry bar and arts venue on Old Street, and replace it with a 17-storey boutique hotel.

The LCEF, which supports bicycle couriers injured during their employment, making a minimum payment of £150 for riders kept off the road for two weeks as a result of an accident, holds its monthly meetings at The Foundry, which also regularly hosts art exhibitions.

Located in Hoxton, where over the past couple of decades a vibrant art and nightlife scene has sprung up, following a decision by the London Borough of Hackney’s planning sub-committee last night, the venue is now set to be demolished to make way for the UK’s first art’hotel, a chain that already operates establishments in Germany and Hungary and now expanding into Morocco and The Netherlands.

The Foundry was co-founded by Bill Drummond, formerly of the pop group KLF, and is run by Jonathan Moberly and his wife, Tracey Moberly, an artist.

The couple are hopeful to relocate elsewhere in the area, with Mr Moberley telling the Hackney Citizen: “Our position is that we can’t really fight this because the developer is our landlord. If we fight it, they’ll just kick us out. We want to relocate to as close as possible to where we are now.”

Ahead of last night’s meeting, LCEF founder Darren Coxson had told the Hackney Citizen: “We use The Foundry as a base and our races start from there. There are lots of couriers that use it and lots of artists. If it went, we would lose the base for our community,” adding that the proposed development was another example of “non-corporate” venues disappearing due to “the encroachment of cold, modern, seemingly soulless developments” in the area.

He added, “We use The Foundry as a base and our races start from there. There are lots of couriers that use it and lots of artists. If it went, we would lose the base for our community.”

When spoke to him today, Darren claimed that he wasn’t surprised by the news, which he said had been a long time coming, adding that he hoped to continue working with the Moberlys, whom he said had been very supportive of the LCEF during the last couple of years, in finding a new venue for its meetings.

He added that he believed that the non-corporate artistic vibe that has built up around The Foundry fitted in well with the courier ethos and lifestyle.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Latest Comments