The Common Room: News & Updates

After our successful Crowdfund London campaign in 2020, Roman Road Trust began the amazing journey of transforming The Common Room – we’re delighted to announce that the space is now ready and open to the Bow community!

Follow our socials for updates on upcoming events in our new community space.

April 2024

The Common Room has officially opened its doors to the public after months of hard work!

And how amazing do the colourful tiles look! We held facade design and tile-making workshops last year to hand-press each of the tiles. Thanks to ceramicists Simeon Featherstone and Anastasia Sledkova from PC-Projects, artist Veronica Rowlands, pupils from Old Ford Primary and of course – the people of Roman Road!

The Common Room welcomes local residents every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 – 4pm until the end of May as a warm space for the community.

The Common Room, a wooden building with colourful tiles

June 2023

UKPN fit the electrical wires to The Common Room, the outside walls are prepared to be able to hold tiles for the facade and Roman Road Trust board members paint the fence of the facade!

May 2023

The first fix of the electrics are completed by our brilliant volunteer Acacio Oliveria from Casa Construction. Kitchen cabinets are kindly donated by Formation Design & Build. We held our tile making workshop where local residents created tiles that will be used on the facade.

April 2023

Site visits by UKPN are completed and a location for our electricity box is agreed. We find a volunteer electrician to assist with the first fix of electrics. Our Managing Director, Rosie, tests out the bin store!

March 2023

The build continues. Front doors are fitted, the cladding is completed and (pink!) plasterboard is added.

February 2023

The build begins! The Common Room flatpack is delivered to site on 14th February (just in time for Valentine’s) and the structure is built. Within three weeks, the walls and roof are completed, windows are put in and work on the porch begins.

January 2023

Contracts with builders are finalised and signed. Delivery of materials and site preparation begins. UKPN visit the site to arrange electric connection.

December 2022

Preparations and legalities for the build to begin continue.

October – November 2022

The Common Room receives its very own postal address (5 Ford Road, London, E3 5NS) meaning we can now activate our utilities such as water. Search ‘The Common Room Roman Road’ in Google Maps.

Please do not send us any post as we do not have a letter box just yet! 


September 2022

Frank Kibble (left) from Spacehive and Awo Ahmed (right) from Tower Hamlets Council pay a visit to the site to see our progress for themselves!

July – August 2022

Our groundworkers coat the concrete slab with a special sealant to protect the surface from damage and corrosion and to reduce the absorption of water. The foundation is now ready to be built upon!

June 2022

Roman Road Trust awaits formal postal address for The Common Room. We arrange for our groundworker to seal the screed layer of the foundation.

May 2022

Thames Water complete the water connection to The Common Room (the blue pipe is the water!) GLA visit the site to take photos of the construction so far.


April 2022

Thames Water confirm their upcoming visit to make the water connection for The Common Room. The lamppost is removed by Wiggett Group thanks to Clarion Housing.

March 2022

The concrete is poured and the concrete slab is complete! Our building control officer visits the site and approves the construction so far. Roman Road Trust applies to Tower Hamlets Council for an official postal address for The Common Room.

February 2022

Construction begins! Groundworkers prepare for services to be installed and the foundation is laid for The Common Room building. Roman Road Trust organise the removal of the lamppost.

January 2022

Tower Hamlets Council approves the new planning application for The Common Room. Roman Road Trust and Public Works prepare for ground-workers to begin in mid-February.

December 2021

Roman Road Trust is required to submit a new planning application to Tower Hamlets Council for The Common Room. This is due to important revisions in the design to make sure the space is as good as it can be for the community.

November 2021

Clarion Housing arrange for Wates Group to demolish the old structure. Any re-usable timber is donated to local community projects such as the Roman Road Adventure Playground and Abbey Gardens. 

October 2021

Roman Road Trust and Public Works deliver Neighbourhood Curriculum Workshops where local people explore how their skills, knowledge and experience can be shared in The Common Room. The demolition of the old version of The Common Room is arranged.

June – September 2021

Due to the unforeseen challenges facing the construction industry, Roman Road Trust raises additional funds to ensure the Transformation of The Common Room can happen. We speak to local residents at our market stall on Roman Road to update them on the progress of the build and invite them to our upcoming Neighbourhood Curriculum Workshops. 

May 2021

Roman Road Trust and Chisenhale Dance Space confirm details of The Common Room’s activities as part of Encounter Bow 2021. Roman Road Trust plans for re-start of in-person taster sessions and market stalls to begin in summer as part of our Developing the Programme project with Foundation for Future London. Selected local organisations share their views on The Common Room facade.

April 2021

Clarion Housing and Roman Road Trust work towards finalising lease documents and other legal processes. Roman Road Trust and Public Works meet with Wates to confirm their in-kind support for The Common Room. Roman Road Trust meets with Chisenhale Dance Space to begin planning an activity to be a part of Encounter Bow 2021.

March 2021

Roman Road Trust and Clarion Housing meet to discuss lease. Roman Road Trust begins planning taster workshops and market stalls to restart in Summer 2021 as part of our Developing the Programme project. PC Projects collaborate with Old Ford Primary School’s Artist in Residence to run workshops for pupils to design stamps for the facade. PC Projects begin stamp tests to see how the designs will work on the tiled facade.

February 2021

Facade Workshops held online for local residents and organisations to help shape the design of the facade for The Common Room.  Roman Road Trust and Public Works prepare submission of facade design to LBTH for approval. Application for water connection is completed. Electricity meter and connection point is installed by Wates. Clarion Housing (landowner) provides first draft of lease document for review.

January 2021

Roman Road Trust clears the shed at The Common Room to allow contractor to complete second trial pit on right-hand side. Public Works presents detailed designs to Roman Road Trust. We meet with ceramicists Simeon Featherstone and Anastasia Sledkova from PC Projects to plan the creation of the tiled facade in collaboration with our community.

December 2020

Roman Road Trust and Public Works hold second consultation stall on Roman Road Market. We investigate the proximity of public sewers to the site. Roman Road Trust signs engineer contract with CH Simple Design and engineer visits the site. Public Works begin their next stage of detailed designs. Our contractor (Office for Crafted Architecture) completes first trial pit and discovers solid foundations on left-hand side.

November 2020

Building Control Officer is appointed. Roman Road Trust signs architectural contract with Public Works. First draft of Hiring Agreement for community users is completed. Clarion and Wates confirm in-kind support towards the build of The Common Room.

October 2020

Engineer is appointed. Roman Road Trust and Public Works hold first consultation stall on Roman Road Market. We investigate ownership of a lamppost that is situated within The Common Room site and organise it to be removed. We share first draft of operational documents and agreements with Clarion Housing. Public Works submits an Arts Council England Application to design the facade of The Common Room with local artists and residents (decision pending).

September 2020

Roman Road Trust increases conversations with Clarion Housing (landowner) to begin the process of securing lease/asset transfer. We secure funding from LBTH Small Grants Fund for project management of the build. Roman Road Trust meets with panel of local Place Experts.

August 2020

Regular project meetings begin with Roman Road Trust, Public Works (architects), and Office for Crafted Architecture (contractor). We attend consultancy advice session with Mayor’s Design Advocates (GLA.)

July 2020

Roman Road Trust secures funding from Foundation for Future London for Developing the Programme for The Common Room. Market research for  The Common Room commences. We begin forming our first draft of the business plan.

June 2020

Pledges counted and collected. Roman Road Trust is assigned a Regeneration Officer from Greater London Authority (GLA) and we sign our contract with GLA. 

May 2020

Crowdfund campaign reaches target and closes with £7,000 of overfunding.

January 2020

Crowdfund London campaign launches.

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