The Exchange: a brand new arts space for London

An opportunity for arts leaders and creative visionaries to establish a new space for culture in London.

Applications now closed

A brand new, £7m arts space, with generous revenue support for the first 5 years, from developer Ashbourne Beech Ltd.

Futurecity has been supporting Ashbourne Beech to develop culture-led proposals for a new District Centre on the ASDA site near Crossharbour DLR Station, on the Isle of Dogs in East London. We are thrilled to announce that Ashbourne Beech is committed to establishing a new arts space for the area at the heart of the scheme.

Between March and May 2017 Futurecity is leading the search for an Operator of the new arts space, which has the working title of ‘The Exchange’, and which is scheduled to open its doors in 2020. Applications are sought from organisations that might work in the performing arts, and other areas. The artistic vision brought to Crossharbour by the Operator of the Exchange is key to our ambitions for the District Centre.

With a commitment to public art projects alongside the Exchange, Crossharbour District Centre will be a place defined by a commitment to the arts and creativity. Located in a changing part of London that will be transformed by arrival of Crossrail, the District Centre will also include retail, high quality food and beverage offers, and a set of important community amenities. Much of its public realm – including a new Central Square, major green spaces and promenades – is also offered as a platform upon which the Operator of The Exchange can realise outdoor cultural events.We estimate an average of 80,000+ weekly visitors to the District Centre by the time it is completed.

We are now looking for high quality applications from dynamic and forward thinking arts and cultural companies and consortia who have a track record that suggest a fit with the potential of the site. Your vision should convey how The Exchange can be a home for lively events and creativity, and how it can contribute to both local community development and to high quality arts provision for London and beyond.

The Exchange’s current designs imagine a 224 seat main performance space, two additional studios for rehearsal/performance/workshop/exhibitions, a café/bar/restaurant, and ancillary storage and office spaces. These designs are indicative and we are open to proposals from applicants as to how the interior design and layout of the building can be adjusted to fully supported the Operator’s creative vision.




Deadline for applications: 21 April 2017 at 10am GMT

Interviews: Wednesday 17 May 2017 in central London

The applications deadline has passed and we are now reviewing the submissions for shortlisting. We will contact shortlisted organisations directly and set up an interview time for 17 May. 

Please direct any further questions to David Micklem, Futurecity Associate at [email protected]


FAQs and Clarification

….will be uploaded here shortly and updated regularly between March and April 2017. Please email [email protected] so that you are notified when updates are posted.

FAQ’s Round 1 are available to download here.

Futurecity hosted an evening event where interested applicants could ask questions about the site and application process, meet other organisations that might be interested in partnering up and network with likeminded organisations.

Information from that event is available here:

FAQ’s Round 2 are available to download here.



+44 (0)20 7407 0500 71 Central St, London, EC1V 8AB


+44 (0)1223 403364 Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way,
Cambridge CB1 7GX


+44 (0)20 7407 0500 17-19 O’ Connor St, Chippendale, NSW 2008