Monday, 21 February 2011


Drapers' City Foyer is a converted former London School Board building.  It is typical of a large number of distinctive schools built across Inner London in the late nineteenth century under the guidance of Edward Robson, the Boards's chief architect.

On Wednesday 17 February Sir Nicholas Jackson, Sir Michael Craig-Cooper, Anthony Walker and myself paid a visit to Drapers' City Foyer.

In the late nineties the Company teamed up with Providence Row a major housing and homelessness charity in East London, especially in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, to refurbish a former London School Board building to create a foyer of forty-one units.  Because of the Company's contribution to the initial construction costs it is called Drapers' City Foyer.  Today the foyer is run by East Potential, an economic and social regeneration charity, on behalf of Providence Row.  For more details go to and and go to Drapers' City Foyer

Drapers' City Foyer is designed to provide temporary accommodation for young people who are homeless and in need of support.  The pressing need is to provide shelter and food but equally importantly a foyer can access a whole range of support and advice to give an individual the opportunity to improve their life chances and help them overcome personal problems.

The Foyer is doing well. Last year it successfully supported twenty-eight individuals find new opportunities and who have now left the Foyer.  East Potential want to do more.  They have some interesting ideas such as making more use of the ground floor spaces to provide training opportunities for non-residents.  Also Providence Row has agreed that Flavour Gateway, an innovative catering training and commercial operation, can establish a training cafe, the Cafe Relax, in the building.

Cafe Relax is in a really unusual space, the decor is stunning - I shall try and get some photographs - and there's a great menu that is really good value.  It will be opening shortly, go along for a meal.  For more details go to:

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